The truth, he thought, was what he thought about,
While he declined, he thought, to nothingness.
This thought, he feared, might somehow lead to doubt,
And he, when dying thoughtlessly profess
Belief in something other than this truth.
Temptation stalked him like the dog he took
On walks to ease his restlessness. In youth
He had denied; in youth had dared a book.
A second. And a third. Then more. They lined
His past as they had lined his anguished brow,
Which had become a mappa mundi, where
The curious could plot his searchings, find
How he had fought his first belief, who now,
Almost apostate, breathed a childhood air.