Ah, dear me…this morning

I found written in the mirror

My payment for time and success:

All the miles I've traveled

Lie mapped across

My face, and such a

Dead white tinge that


I look in the mirror and see that

I am no longer a young man.

I suppose I thought myself handsome…

He called me prim but

Had he seen really seen what pains I took

I think he would have laughed.


(I did see the pains he took,

but I did not laugh;

I merely hid the words)


The crispest collar cannot distract

From the grey in my hair

The smartest suit will not deceive—

My shoulders are sloped too sharply, weak…


(he will always be strong to me…

the weaker he grows, the stronger he is.

his undying strength is in

his eyes)


I don't suppose I am immortal

Even the more intense fires die in the end

Perhaps they even burn out faster.

I always knew my reign would end, yet—

I cannot concede to be an ember.


(Ember or flame,

I will stand between you and

every wind.)