Conundrum

Exhume the dust of memory Let’s take upon ourselves this mantle fair For from experience we know It can cost far less to wear it Than to leave it for another to make use Do these labels bear repeating? Are we only “poet”, “scholar”, “men of trade”? Or was there not in our humanity Some inborn trait that told us It was harmful to believe what we were told? I recall the cracking pavement The tattered children signing in the sun Beyond each darkened doorway And every curtained window Lay something new to wish, to wonder on As questions formed unanswered No one thought to leave this hollow for the world To see the truth could solve it Break the riddle for these children unaware And hurt our eyes with things we shouldn’t see We are blind to our ambition The slaves of all we’ve come to understand So let us linger in this beauty Where nobleman and pauper draw exquisite parallels And beneath each rain damp’d chimney life is good

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