George Santayana

(16 December 1863 - 26 September 1952 / Madrid)

As in the Midst of Battle there is Room


As in the midst of battle there is room
   For thoughts of love, and in foul sin for mirth;
   As gossips whisper of a trinket's worth
Spied by the death-bed's flickering candle-gloom;
As in the crevices of Caesar's tomb
   The sweet herbs flourish on a little earth:
   So in this great disaster of our birth
We can be happy, and forget our doom.

For morning, with a ray of tenderest joy
   Gilding the iron heaven, hides the truth,
And evening gently woos us to employ
   Our grief in idle catches. Such is youth;
Till from that summer's trance we wake, to find
Despair before us, vanity behind.

Submitted: Saturday, January 04, 2003

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