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Duty Comes to Grief

Felix Dennis
January 1, 2003
Mandalay, Mustique
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Now! — will I wait no longer,
    Now! — will I say my piece;
No matter which be stronger,
    This living death must cease.

Here is the Hall of Hating,
    A folly filled with fears;
Here, the rack stands, waiting,
    For willing volunteers.

These are the Walls of Malice
    Which shun the heart’s relief;
And this, a Poisoned Chalice
    To toast the Worm of Grief.

There is the Chair of Musing,
    A selfish thing of stone;
And here the Stairs of Choosing —
    Think you you grieve alone?

Speak! — and be done with weeping,
    Cast off this mourning band.
Upstairs, our child is sleeping —
    Come dearest, take my hand.

“The joys of parents are secret, and so are their
griefs and fears.” — Francis Bacon  Essays (1625)