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Collected Poems



I would rid myself of an old way of life
that has clung about me since the day I was born,
covering me with its cloak of smiling hatred,
with its shield of nonchalance and easy scorn.

I have worn this armour, kept my soul inviolate,
mocking the estate of kings with cool bravado;
but I am tired now; I have lain too long
in the gutter of the world, crossed by a King's shadow.

I have done, indeed: as well be a whining moralist,
vile slave to a viler god, picking a sermon
from every cruel stone, as waste my breath
on this abominable world and all its vermin.

page 186

I would escape all this, and all things else;
I would creep within my life, and lie there curled
like a flower in ice, or a Pharaoh in his tomb,
lulled in a sleep that should outlast the world.