“Courage!” he said, and pointed toward the land,
“that is no country for old men.” The young,
so various, so beautiful, so new,
come buy come buy
with throats unslaked and black lips baked.
I have met them at the close of day
and I am here the mermaid whose dark hair –
all that hair flashing over the Atlantic –
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each,
and I eat men like air.
No crown is simpler than the simple hair,
so you have swept me back.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.
Women desire to have sovereinetee
and put up a road sign CLOSED to all but me.
Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven,
batter my heart, three-personed God; for you,
a narrow fellow in the grass,
are more like a stock than like a vine.
Every woman adores a fascist,
deserts of vast eternity.
I myself am hell
who says that fiction’s a false hair,
a paper-maker like the wasp; a tractor of foodstuffs.
The world’s too much with us.