Verse > Edwin A. Robinson > Collected Poems > VII. The Three Taverns > 9. Tact
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Edwin Arlington Robinson (1869–1935).  Collected Poems. 1921.
  
VII. The Three Taverns
9. Tact
  
OBSERVANT of the way she told
  So much of what was true,
No vanity could long withhold
  Regard that was her due:
She spared him the familiar guile,        5
  So easily achieved,
That only made a man to smile
  And left him undeceived.
 
Aware that all imagining
  Of more than what she meant       10
Would urge an end of everything,
  He stayed; and when he went,
They parted with a merry word
  That was to him as light
As any that was ever heard       15
  Upon a starry night.
 
She smiled a little, knowing well
  That he would not remark
That ruins of a day that fell
  Around her in the dark:       20
He saw no ruins anywhere,
  Nor fancied there were scars
On anyone who lingered there,
  Alone below the stars.

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