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Edwin Arlington Robinson (1869-1935)

Reuben Bright


              1Because he was a butcher and thereby
              2Did earn an honest living (and did right),
              3I would not have you think that Reuben Bright
              4Was any more a brute than you or I;
              5For when they told him that his wife must die,
              6He stared at them, and shook with grief and fright,
              7And cried like a great baby half that night,
              8And made the women cry to see him cry.

              9And after she was dead, and he had paid
            10The singers and the sexton and the rest,
            11He packed a lot of things that she had made
            12Most mournfully away in an old chest
            13Of hers, and put some chopped-up cedar boughs
            14In with them, and tore down the slaughter-house.

Notes

10] sexton: church bell ringer and grave digger.


Online text copyright © 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.

Original text: Collected Poems, with an introduction by John Drinkwater (London: Cecil Palmer, 1922): 92. PS 3535 O25A17 1922 Robarts Library.
First publication date: 1890 - 1897
Publication date note: The Children of the Night (1890-97), p. 60.
RPO poem editor: Ian Lancashire
RP edition: RPO 1998.
Recent editing: 2:2002/4/3

Form: sonnet
Rhyme: abbaabbacdcdee


Other poems by Edwin Arlington Robinson