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Site of the Congregational Church,
65 Brunswick Avenue

Edward and Mary Robinson worshiped at the Gardiner Congregational Church, and young Robinson and his brothers were known to slip out of Sunday School to enjoy warm summer days. In 1889-90, the Congregationalists remodeled their 1839 meetinghouse on Brunswick Avenue into this picturesque Queen Anne-style church. Edwin E. Lewis of Gardiner served as architect for the changes. The building was destroyed by fire in 1915, and its site is now occupied by a convenience store.

The Robinson family attended the Congregational Church which was located until 1915 at this site. Of Mary Robinson, the poet’s mother, Hagedorn says that while her “husband was the strength of the family she was its light.” She followed the Congregational faith of her Palmer ancestors, and it was unostentatious and deep. “Such church-ties as her husband had were tenuous. If he lived by the best that he knew and did all he could for his fellows, that, he said, was all that could be expected of him. The Robinsons went to church, but one felt kindliness in their house rather than spiritual power.” (Hagedorn, 22 and 29)

The selection of this poem does not have any direct association with any church. However, Robinson, despite his reluctance to affiliate with any particular denomination, expressed a religious faith in this poem.

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I cannot find my way: there is no star
In all the shrouded heavens anywhere;
And there is not a whisper in the air
Of any living voice but one so far
That I can hear it only as a bar
Of lost, imperial music, played when fair
And angel fingers wove, and unaware,
Dead leaves to garlands where no roses are.
No, there is not a glimmer, nor a call,
For one that welcomes, welcomes when he fears,
The black and awful chaos of the night:—
For through it all—above, beyond it all—
I know the far-sent message of the years,
I feel the coming glory of the Light!

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A Virtual Tour of Robinson's Gardiner, Maine

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152 Water Street, Gardiner, Maine 04345, and the Gardiner Library Association.

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