First World War Poetry Digital Archive

The Fates


They watch me, those informers to the Fates Called Fortune, Chance, Necessity, and Death; Time, in disguise as one who serves and waits, Eternity as girls of fragrant breath. I know them. Men and Boys are in their pay, And those I hold my trustiest friends may prove Agents of Theirs to take me if I stray From fatal ordinance. If I move, they move---

Escape? There is one unwatched way; your eyes, O Beauty! Keep me good that secret gate! And when the cordon tightens of the spies Let the close iris of your eyes grow great. So I'll evade the vice and rack of age And miss the march of lifetime, stage by stage.

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