for E. Wallis Budge

The sword of Damocles is hung Where future intersects what¶s past In a present none expect to last² Where dream and deed remain unsung² Where whatever¶s found is lost And whatever¶s lost is wrung From oblivion and strung On a beaded bracelet around the wrist Of one who will not know, When robbers come, what it was They wanted most or what it is They least desired and will forgo. Of all the treasures found and won None replace the plunder to come² What¶s snatched from tomb Finds welcome in what¶s to be ruined. What the living carry away Will be rejected by the dead Who¶ll no longer dread The exhaustion of their play By pirates in some Sahib¶s pay. They¶ve earned their rest² Damned or blest² And will, as all must, embrace decay.

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