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Edwin Arlington Robinson (1869–1935). Collected Poems. 1921.

II. The Children of the Night

23. The Dead Village

HERE there is death. But even here, they say,

Here where the dull sun shines this afternoon

As desolate as ever the dead moon

Did glimmer on dead Sardis, men were gay;

And there were little children here to play,

With small soft hands that once did keep in tune

The strings that stretch from heaven, till too soon

The change came, and the music passed away.

Now there is nothing but the ghosts of things,—

No life, no love, no children, and no men;

And over the forgotten place there clings

The strange and unrememberable light

That is in dreams. The music failed, and then

God frowned, and shut the village from His sight.