Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Love Sonnets Of Proteus. Part I: To Manon: XV


Oh, Lytton, I have gambled with my soul,
And, like a spendthrift, pawned my heritage
To pitiless Jews, and paid a monstrous toll
To knaves and usurers,--and all to wage
Fair war with black--legs, men who dared to gauge
My youth's bright honour as an antique thing,
A broadsword to their fencing point and edge.
So the game went. And even yet I cling
To my mad humour, reckoning up each stake,
Each fair coin lost.--O miserable slaves,
Who for the sake of gold, the poorest thing
Man ever won from the earth's bosom, take
To rope or poison, and who labour not
Even to ``dig dishonourable graves,''
See one who has lost a pound for every groat,
For every penny of your squandering!

Wilfrid Scawen Blunt