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The Growth of Lorraine

I

While I stood listening, discreetly dumb,
Lorraine was having the last word with me:
ВЂњI know, ” she said, “I know it, but you see
Some creatures are born fortunate, and some
Are born to be found out and overcome, —
Born to be slaves, to let the rest go free;
And if I’m one of them (and I must be)
You may as well forget me and go home.

ВЂњYou tell me not to say these things, I know,
But I should never try to be content:
I’ve gone too far; the life would be too slow.
Some could have done it—some girls have the stuff;
But I can’t do it: I don’t know enough.
I’m going to the devil. ”—And she went.

II

I did not half believe her when she said
That I should never hear from her again;
Nor when I found a letter from Lorraine,
Was I surprised or grieved at what I read:
ВЂњDear friend, when you find this, I shall be dead.
You are too far away to make me stop.
They say that one drop—think of it, one drop! —
Will be enough, —but I’ll take five instead.

ВЂњYou do not frown because I call you friend,
For I would have you glad that I still keep
Your memory, and even at the end—
Impenitent, sick, shattered—cannot curse
The love that flings, for better or for worse,
This worn-out, cast-out flesh of mine to sleep. ”

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Poem The Growth of Lorraine - Edwin Arlington Robinson
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