Edwin Arlington Robinson

(22 December 1869 – 6 April 1935 / Maine / United States)

A Happy Man


When these graven lines you see,
Traveller, do not pity me;
Though I be among the dead,
Let no mournful word be said.

Children that I leave behind,
And their children, all were kind;
Near to them and to my wife,
I was happy all my life.

My three sons I married right,
And their sons I rocked at night;
Death nor sorrow never brought
Cause for one unhappy thought.

Now, and with no need of tears,
Here they leave me, full of years,--
Leave me to my quiet rest
In the region of the blest.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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# 120 poem on top 500 Poems


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  • Bronze Star - 6,398 Points Rajnish Manga (1/11/2015 11:36:00 AM)

    not many people get a chance to lead a life to their entire satisfaction and leave this world with a sense of divine bliss. (Report) Reply

  • Veteran Poet - 4,410 Points Savita Tyagi (1/11/2014 9:13:00 AM)

    Lovely poem. A life lived with family love and affection faces the ultimate end with peace and satisfaction. Not a trace of sorrow or fear in poet's heart. A cherished moment of life when such emotions are expressed. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie John Chung (6/8/2013 3:15:00 PM)

    How does the traveler represent that life is not the major reason for pain? (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 7 Points Kumi Nicholas (1/12/2013 9:40:00 AM)

    The personna refers to us as 'traveller' depicting that life is ephemeral and death is not the major reason for pity and pains as well as mourning as eulogize in the
    'traveller, do not pity me;
    Death nor sorrow never brought
    Cause for one unhappy thought.'
    #this a nice poem merred with rich ideals n thought..i realy enjoyed reading this. (Report) Reply

  • Freshman - 1,470 Points Babatunde Aremu (1/11/2013 10:32:00 AM)

    A good man derives satisfaction from his family. Robinson has shown that he is a family man in this poem. Great write. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Terence George Craddock (1/11/2013 3:03:00 AM)

    Innate within the human heart is is a desire for family and loved ones to be happy and prosperous, a desire for our children and their children to prosper and do well. Robinson beautifully expresses the happiness joy peace and contentment that an individual may feel when happy with his or her life. This poem is rich and seasoned with love of immediate and extended family as the lines

    Children that I leave behind,
    And their children, all were kind;
    Near to them and to my wife,
    I was happy all my life.

    so clearly demonstrates. The narrator is happy that his sons married right, that he had the joy of their sons to rock at night. Even the speaking from death opening stanza advocates the theme of the joys reaped from a good family life. The narrator claims that in his life philosophy, death and sorrows, common to us all, never brought him a single unhappy thought. Death and sorrows are certainties we all have and will share, but the rewards of a good family life, a life lived in full years of no regret, was a very good life. The narrator is happy to leave all loved ones prosperous and well, to enjoy a quiet rest/ In the region of the blest. A beautiful poem of rich seasoned sentiment. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 280 Points Rekha Mandagere (1/11/2012 10:20:00 AM)

    These are the goals, the society expects from an individual to achieve at various stages of life.The society gives the certificate that he is a happy and contended man.But it is an eye-opener to think in the other side of a man, that is his soul contentment. it is introspective and soul seeking expression of oneself. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Joey Valenzuela (1/11/2010 10:31:00 PM)

    i think this isn't a happy poem....it's a poem of a sad person wishing to be happy..
    because for me, he's thinking about death, , , and people who thinking bout death are people in sorrow.....my proof is myself....

    this poem is just an illusion of the author...he's just concealing the way he is...

    this is just a mere irony to what he really is.....
    because probably he cannot get what he want...the satisfaction of life that he'd been looking for....

    but well that's just my idea..... (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 0 Points Herman Chiu (1/11/2010 6:56:00 PM)

    In Chinese we have a saying: peace is fortune.
    And the world gives us more to have! (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Faizan Barlas (1/11/2010 1:05:00 PM)

    The man in the poem is refering to us as 'Travellers' (of this world) , tells us that he lived a happy life, married his sons 'right' and had grandsons, and now that even he is dead he is still happy because he lived a happy life. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Anushmadhu P.bharathi (1/11/2010 11:49:00 AM)

    Why do we need rest?
    it is a myth
    is no truth;
    many dreams and sleep
    in the name of meditation;
    words are in mouth
    thoughts are not worth
    in the name of prayers;
    In real life
    there is no rest as well work,
    life is full of rest
    and full of work
    sleep and awake is routine...
    it is a parallel process
    but one comes after another
    no work and no rest.. (Report) Reply

Read all 34 comments »

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