Of song and flower and sky and face,
And count, and touch, and turn them o'er,
Musing upon them."
He cannot forego his sensations, that "box of compacted sweets".
He even forefeels a ghostly landscape where two shall go wandering
through the night, "alone". So the faith that broke its chrysalis
in the first disillusionment of boyhood, in "Second Best",
beautiful with the burden of Greek lyricism, ends triumphant with the spirit still unsubdued. --
"Proud, then, clear-eyed and laughing, go to greet
Death as a friend."
So go, "with unreluctant tread". But in the disillusionment of beauty
and of love there is an older tone. With what bitter savor, with what
grossness of diction, caught from the Elizabethan and satirical elements
in his culture, he spends anger in words! He reacts, he rebels, he storms.
A dozen poems hardly exhaust his gall. It is not merely
that beauty and joy and love are transient, now, but in their going they are corrup