Collected Poems
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MERLIN
Not even the Vivian who is everything,
She being Beauty, Beauty being She,
She being Vivian, and so on for ever. "
" I ' m glad you don ' t see two of me, " she said;
" For there ' s a whole world yet for you to eat
And drink and say to me before I know
The sort of creature that you see in me.
I ' m withering for a little more attention,
But, being woman, I can wait. These cups
That you see coming are for the last there is
Of what my father gave to kings alone,
And far from always. You are more than kings
To me; therefore I give it all to you,
Imploring you to spare no more of it
Than a small cockle-shell would hold for me
To pledge your love and mine in. Take the rest,
That I may see tonight the end of it.
I ' ll have no living remnant of the dead
Annoying me until it fades and sours
Of too long cherishing; for Time enjoys
The look that ' s on our faces when we scowl
On unexpected ruins, and thrift itself
May be a sort of slow unwholesome fire
That eats away to dust the life that feeds it.
You smile, I see, but I said what I said.
One hardly has to live a thousand years
To contemplate a lost economy;
So let us drink it while it ' s yet alive
And you and I are not untimely ashes.
My last words are your own, and I don ' t like ' em. "
A sudden laughter scattered from her eyes
A threatening wisdom. He smiled and let her laugh,
Then looked into the dark where there was nothing:
" There ' s more in this than I have seen, " he thought,
" Though I shall see it. " " Drink, " she said again;
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