The Grandeur of Ghosts
When I have heard small talk about great men
I light my two candles; climb to bed; then
Consider what was said; and put aside
What Such-a-one remarked, and Someone-else replied.
They have spoken lightly of my deathless friends,
(Lamps for my gloom, hands guiding where I stumble,)
Quoting, for shallow conversational ends,
What Shelley shrilled, what Blake once wildly muttered...
How can they use such names and be not humble ?
I have sat silent; angry at what they uttered.
The dead bequeathed them life; the dead have said
What these can only memorise and mumble.