Page:John M. Synge - Masefield - Dublin 1915.djvu/38

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“It seems only the other day that we were here.”

“Those were great days.”

“I wish we could have them again.”

“Ah,” he said, laughing his hard laugh, half a cough,

“Nature brings not back the mastodon,
Nor we those times.”

Presently he told me that he had been writing poetry. He handed me a type-written copy of a ballad, and asked me what I thought of it. I told him that I felt the want of an explanatory stanza near the beginning. “Yes,” he said; “But I can’t take your advice, because then it would not be quite my own.” He told me the wild picturesque story (of a murder in Connaught) which had inspired the ballad. His relish of the savagery made me feel that he was a dying man clutching at life, and clutching most wildly at violent life, as the sick man does. We went out shortly afterwards, and got into a cab, and drove to the Gourmets, and ate our last meal together. He was going to the theatre after dinner; I had