The Grandeur of Ghosts

The Grandeur of Ghosts  (1924) 
by Siegfried Sassoon

When I have heard small talk about great men
I light my two candles; climb to bed; then
Consider what was said; and put aside
What Such-a-one remarked, and Someone-else replied.

They have spoken lightly of my deathless friends,
(Lamps for my gloom, hands guiding where I stumble,)
Quoting, for shallow conversational ends,
What Shelley shrilled, what Blake once wildly muttered...

How can they use such names and be not humble ?
I have sat silent; angry at what they uttered.
The dead bequeathed them life; the dead have said
What these can only memorise and mumble.

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1926.

The author died in 1967, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 50 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.