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"False!" I cry:
Men tell me of truth now
Of beauty-"A mask, friend! Look beneath!" We take our own method, the Devil and I,
With pleasant and fair and wise and rare :
And the best we wish to what lives, is
Which even in wishing, perhaps we lie!
Far better commit a fault and have done ·
As you, dear! forever; and choose the
And look where the healing waters run,
And strive and strain to be good again,
Misery! What shall I say or do?
I cannot advise, or, at least, persuade : Most like, you are glad you deceived me
No whit of the wrong: you endured too long, Have done no evil and want no aid,
Will live the old life out and chance the new.
your sentence is written all the same,
And I can do nothing, pray, perhaps :
But somehow the world
if I curse, pray,
pursues its game,
for better or worse:
my faith is torn to a thousand scraps,
And my heart feels ice while my words breathe flame.
Dear, I look from my hiding-place.
Are you still so fair? Have you still the eyes?
Be happy! Add but the other grace,
Be good! Why want what the angels vaunt?
I knew you once: but in Paradise,
If we meet, I will pass nor turn my face.