There was a man who feared his death

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There was a man who feared his death
Who nursed each moment as his last ,
Who breathed but to begrudge each breath ,
And passed life mourning that life passed .

Love stormed his heart and cast out fear :
Wild with the ecstasy of life
He snatched at joy : within a year
Death chose to rob him of his wife .

Clutching what fragile hope remained ,
He made their newborn son his joy :
Before the seventh summer waned ,
Death chose to rob him of the boy .

He cursed the powers of heaven and earth ,
Beyond , men feared , his own forgiving :
Then , moved by a satanic mirth ,
He set himself to save the living .

His thought was not to purchase fame ;
Yet some their benefactor guessed :
In ward and theatre his name
Whispered by all , by all was blest .

He felt his bitter humour fade ,
As long years came and long years passed :
His loveless gifts , in anger made ,
Achieved true charity at last .

The more he learned to value man
Death still the less would he forgive ,
And steadily the hourglass ran
Till he had but one hour to live .
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Friends begged him to repent his pride ,
Take God’s love and be reconciled :
“God is not loving , ” he replied
What love was shown my wife and child ? ”

Repulsed , they knelt , and mercy prayed
That God his sinful soul might show :
While he , resentful of their aid ,
Prepared to face his mortal foe .

But as he tossed upon the bed ,
A boy came softly to his side :
“Sir , you have far to go , ” he said ,
“And I am sent to be your guide . ”

All wrongs forgotten , he again
Saw what he most desired to see :
He followed , and the path lay plain
To lead him where he longed to be .

The watchers saw no envoy come ,
But sighed to see their friend depart :
Some said , “He had no faith ,” and some
“Yet he was great of heart .”

27th May 1952

Ah, not so many years ago I was a young romantic

Ah, not so many years ago I was a young romantic .
The magnitude of human woe struck horror to my heart ,
To aid my comrades here below my energy was frantic ,
And yet I never seemed to know just how or where to start .

Ah , not so many years ahead a classic I shall be .
My noble thoughts by thousands read shall win me endless credit ,
In temples of the honoured dead a niche shall wait for me ,
And I , forgetful what I said , shall rest content I said it .

But now , between the then and then , a hypocrite I am , alas ,
The silver smoothness of my pen does not reflect my views ,
I look upon the world of men and cannot care a damn , alas ,
And wait for it to praise me when I veil this wretched news .

18th May 1952. The final line is in process of alteration. Marion was doing Schools .

Quiet we lie beneath the whispering grass

Quiet we lie beneath the whispering grass
With cool and tree green shadow overhead ,
While to and fro the jaded people pass ,
Sighing , “How happy are the dead!”

By envious fortune thwarted and repressed ,
Grieved and discouraged by a thousand frets ,
They turn aside and envy us our rest
Sighing , “The dead have no regrets !”

Yet know , one moment of their harassed life
Outweighs a century in green half-light ,
We lie here stark , and envy them the strife ,
Sighing : “If they but knew , if we but might!”

18th May 1952

My heart was made of brittle glass

My heart was made of brittle glass ,
I laid it at your feet .
Down at your feet in the dusty grass
Where flowers drooped in the heat .

You bent and took it with a frown ,
You broke the brittle glass .
You tossed the fragments idly down ,
Deep in the dusty grass .

Why do you kneel here in the rain
Searching the trampled mud ?
Before you hold that heart again
Your hands shall smart with blood .

11th May 1952