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If we must cheat ourselves with any dream,

Then let it be a dream of nobleness:

Since it is necessary to express

Gall from black grapes--to sew an endless seam

With a rusty needle--chase a spurious gleam

Narrowing to the nothing through the less--

Since life's no better than a bitter guess,

And love's a stranger--let us change the theme.


Let us at least pretend--it may be true--

That we can close our lips on poisonous

Dark wine diluted by the Stygean wave;

And let me dream sublimity in you,

And courage, liberal for the two of us:

Let us at least pretend we can be brave.

Elinor Wylie




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