Eros Turannos

By Edwin Arlington Robinson 1869–1935 Edwin Arlington Robinson
She fears him, and will always ask
   What fated her to choose him;
She meets in his engaging mask                  
   All reasons to refuse him;
But what she meets and what she fears
Are less than are the downward years,
Drawn slowly to the foamless weirs
   Of age, were she to lose him.

Between a blurred sagacity
   That once had power to sound him,
And Love, that will not let him be
   The Judas that she found him,
Her pride assuages her almost,
As if it were alone the cost.—
He sees that he will not be lost,
   And waits and looks around him.

A sense of ocean and old trees
   Envelops and allures him;
Tradition, touching all he sees
   Beguiles and reassures him;
And all her doubts of what he says
Are dimmed with what she knows of days— 
Till even prejudice delays 
   And fades, and she secures him.

The falling leaf inaugurates
   The reign of her confusion;
The pounding wave reverberates
   The dirge of her illusion;
And home, where passion lived and died,
Becomes a place where she can hide, 
While all the town and harbor side
   Vibrate with her seclusion.

We tell you, tapping on our brows,
   The story as it should be,—
As if the story of a house
   Were told, or ever could be;
We’ll have no kindly veil between
Her visions and those we have seen,—
As if we guessed what hers have been, 
   Or what they are or would be.

Meanwhile we do no harm; for they
   That with a god have striven,
Not hearing much of what we say,
   Take what the god has given;
Though like waves breaking it may be,
Or like a changed familiar tree,
Or like a stairway to the sea 
   Where down the blind are driven.

Originally published in Poetry, March 1914.

Source: Poetry (March 1914).

RELATED CONTENT

Discover this poem’s context and related poetry, articles, and media.

Poet Edwin Arlington Robinson 1869–1935

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

Subjects Disappointment & Failure, Living, Relationships, Love, Men & Women, Heartache & Loss, Realistic & Complicated

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza, Persona