Yes, Walter Savage, that’s the stance,
Neither repining nor heroic,
We all admire: that noble glance
On life on death that marks the stoic.
But what’s this talk of warming hands
Before the fire of life, for shame?
Deep in that fire each poet stands
And walks rejoicing in the flame.
Nor does its ever-burning tree
Consume to ash nor die away;
But springs round our posterity
And burns as fiercely as today.
But, true, the fire within each heart
Must dwindle and no more be found.
Your resolution to depart
Shows you, I think, on surer ground.
Others may put themselves to bed
When the coals fade between the bars;
A poet seeks the cold instead,
And steps outside to meet the stars.