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Xantippe, A Minor Poet and Other Verses

201 pages
Library of Alexandria
I KNEW not if to laugh or weep; They sat and talked of you—“’Twas here he sat; ’twas this he said! ’Twas that he used to do. “Here is the book wherein he read, The room, wherein he dwelt; And he” (they said) “was such a man, Such things he thought and felt.” I sat and sat, I did not stir; They talked and talked away. I was as mute as any stone, I had no word to say. They talked and talked; like to a stone My heart grew in my breast—I, who had never seen your face Perhaps I knew you best. HERE is the phial; here I turn the key Sharp in the lock. Click!—there’s no doubt it turned. This is the third time; there is luck in threes—Queen Luck, that rules the world, befriend me now And freely I’ll forgive you many wrongs! Just as the draught began to work, first time, Tom Leigh, my friend (as friends go in the world), Burst in, and drew the phial from my hand, (Ah, Tom! ah, Tom! that was a sorry turn!) And lectured me a lecture, all compact Of neatest, newest phrases, freshly culled From works of newest culture: “common good;” “The world’s great harmonies;” “must be content With knowing God works all things for the best, And Nature never stumbles.” Then again, “The common good,” and still, “the common, good;” And what a small thing was our joy or grief When weigh’d with that of thousands. Gentle Tom, But you might wag your philosophic tongue From morn till eve, and still the thing’s the same: I am myself, as each man is himself—Feels his own pain, joys his own joy, and loves With his own love, no other’s. Friend, the world Is but one man; one man is but the world.