Friday, February 3, 2012

Of that I must be shriven

I love the way Richard Wilbur gets to the heart of things. 
A Reckoning
At my age, one begins
To chalk up all his sins,
Hoping to wipe the slate
Before it is too late.

Therefore I call to mind
All memories of the kind
That make me wince and sweat
And tremble with regret.

What do these prove to be?
In every one, I see
Shocked faces that, alas,
Now know me for an ass.

Fatuities that I
Have uttered, drunk or dry,
Return now in a rush
And make my old cheek blush.

But how can I repent
From mere embarrassment?
Damn-foolishness can’t well
Entitle me to Hell.

Well, I shall put the blame
On the pride that’s in my shame.
Of that I must be shriven
If I’m to be forgiven.

--Richard Wilbur


Gumbo Lily said...

He says it like it is, and I like that. Good stuff.

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