Page:The torrent and The night before.djvu/39

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But then, what though the mystic Three
Around me ply their merry trade?—
And Charon soon may carry me
Across the gloomy Stygian glade?—
Be up, my soul! nor be afraid
Of what some unborn year may show;—
But mind your human debts are paid,
As one by one the phantoms go.

Life is the game that must be played:
This truth at least, good friend, we know.—
So live and laugh, nor be dismayed
As one by one the phantoms go.

If ever I am old, and all alone,
I shall have killed one grief, at any rate;
For then, thank God, I shall not have to wait
Much longer for the sheaves that I have sown.
The devil only knows what I have done,
But here I am, and here are six or eight
Good friends who most ingenuously prate
About my songs to such and such a one.

But everything is all askew to-night,—
As if the time were come, or almost come,
For their untenanted mirage of me
To lose itself and crumble out of sight—
Like a tall ship that floats above the foam
A little while, and then breaks utterly.

Why do you dig like long-clawed scavengers
To touch the covered corpse of him that fled
The uplands for the fens and rioted
Like a sick satyr with doom's worshippers?—
Come!—let the grass grow there; and leave his verse