—Sips through of wine
And fire talking out of turn,
The winsome panes glazed with
Cataracts of dusty snow—
My Lord, he should have known better.
Better than the bard or sorry
Slog, the friends with whom he sang,
Gazing through the viscous,
Fiendish stalking night.
And on his shredded mantelface
The bustling of beards,
Half dead and gone with gray.
I’d have known him more, it’s true,
If there were less of man about his cheeks,
The way they creased toward
Heaven and the gate:
Knowing all and being self the same.
For when all that talks is fire now,
Briskly, through the din of silence, sure
And all the future friends have left,
What savory comfort gives?
You should have known far better,
Friend, and in a human way:
Half mad to be a man who loved, and much.
You should have known far better
Than to tender reason with your heart.