John Drinkwater

The Passing of a Stoic

Now stiff who once was willow,
Now bent who once was tall,
He walks along the garden
At noon and afternoon,
And while the buds are yellow
His life is at the fall,
Yet will he ask no pardon
Who never asked a boon.

With death he will not quarrel,
Nor bid the gods be kind,
The shadow of disaster
Has been his place of school,
And now he makes no moral
Of echoes in his mind
That tell of life the master
With whips for man the fool.

With eyes upon the gravel
He does not heed the year,
Among the lives that waken
He moves but does not live,
A bitter way to travel
He travels without fear,
But with no blessing taken
Goes on with none to give.