Do those who drink of Lethe
Or do they wrack their brain
In a vain
Attempt to regain
What is forever, lost?
O to be free of regret
And forever forget
A life ill spent.
But what cost
Of Lethe and no more think,
But merely to do
As like some automaton
We wander through
Where memory fades
And days are as one.
The departed are gone
But know it not, or perhaps they do
As tears may break through
When half remembered years
Enter the head
Of the living dead.
All men meet the ferryman, but not all fear
Who carries us to the other side.
It is Lethe drear
That inspires most dread.
The Greeks said
That the ferryman comes before we quench our thirst
In Lethe’s waters.
But no, ‘Tis not always so
For sons and daughters are left behind
When loved ones find
The river where memory fractures, before the body dies.
“Whenever Richard Cory went down town,
We people on the pavement looked at him:
He was a gentleman from sole to crown,
Clean favored, and imperially slim.
And he was always quietly arrayed,
And he was always human when he talked;
But still he fluttered pulses when he said,
“Good-morning,” and he glittered when he walked.
And he was rich—yes, richer than a king—
And admirably schooled in every grace:
In fine, we thought that he was everything
To make us wish that we were in his place.
So on we worked, and waited for the light,
And went without the meat, and cursed the bread;
And Richard Cory, one calm summer night,
Went home and put a bullet through his head”.
It is frequently said
That one should not speak ill of the dead.
It is a notion most quaint
That in death, a devil becomes a saint,
Yet we cross ourselves and say
“He has passed away.
May god have mercy on his soul”.
While inwardly we smile
For well we know
Where his soul did go …