WHO will persuade me that one perfect song
Is not more glorious than a victor’s bays?
I know not who. I ask because the phrase
Runs lightly and the final words are strong.
But did you press me for a right or wrong,
Then would I bid you hunt for perfect lays,
And rouse the dust of dead heroic days,
And pass your judgement if you live so long.
To me it seems more worth, when all is said,
To smoke a friend’s cigar and see the moon
Lie rippling on the Arno mid the strewn
White ranks of rippling stars, to give my head
Its own good leading, to expect no boon,
To sing, and damn the world, and join the dead.
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