‘Live in oblivion,’

Said the Greeks.

I have done

What they said.

But I shall appreciate their wisdom

More when I am dead.


For now, I fear, success

Has its lures.

Yet the kindest I have known

Were less

Bien vu

Than the diamond-hearted adventurers.


Francis Borgia spent

Two hours every day

Considering his own nothingness.

Though a duke,

He became a saint.

I doubt

If I would need so long

On that subject,

Now that the years

Have dried most of my tears

At the sadness of being myself.


Perhaps as a poet, though,

My pride

Is somewhat less discrete.

For oblivion would suppose

That I had stayed

More silent

Even than those


Who proclaimed its praise.