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Spadina Literary Review  —  edition 1 page 12


The grape that can with logic absolute
the multitude of roiling sects confute;
   the sovereign alchemist that in a trice
does leaden metal into gold transmute.


Why, be this juice the gift of God, who dare
blaspheme by calling it an evil snare?
   If a blessing, should we not quaff of it?
And if a curse — why then, who placed it there?


I must foreswear the balm of life, they say,
for fear of penalty on Judgment Day,
   or else in hope of some diviner drink
when I am dust and thirst has gone away!


Oh threats of hell and hopes of paradise!
One thing at least is certain — this life flies!
   One thing is certain and all the rest is lies:
the flower that once has blown forever dies.


How odd! — of all the souls in numbers vast
that into darkness have already passed
   not one returns to tell about the path
which we, like them, must undertake at last.