Saturday, May 24, 2014

As every soldier is unknown

  A generation will pass
  before the sky will be
  perfectly clear of
  clouds for his shining.
  However, what's a gen-
  eration to a sun?

            Oh, let mee not serve so, as those men serve
            Whom honours smoakes at once fatten and sterve;
            Poorly enrich't with great mens words or lookes;
            Nor so write my name in thy loving bookes
            As those Idolatrous flatterers, which still
            Their Princes stiles, with many Realmes fulfill
            Whence they no tribute have, and where no sway.
            Such services I offer as shall pay
            Themselves, I hate dead names: O then let mee
            Favourite in ordinary, or no favourite bee.

T.E. Lawrence
  to the widow of
  Thomas Hardy
  15 January 1928
The Selected Letters
Malcolm Brown, editor
W.W. Norton & Company, 1989©

John Donne
ca 1598
Elegy VI
The Complete Poetry
  and Selected Prose ..
Charles M. Coffin
Random House, 1952©

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