What wish is left
when appetites have their deceit—
by foods that flattered taste, but fed not,
swallowed as names of better things?
What wish is left, and what contenting?
There is left the wish and its contenting.
There has vanished, with that tiring,
the succession of things mutable,
by which the wish grows lasting
and the things not sooner tasted still to taste.
And must these be proved?
Ticketed with legends that they are so?
Let the wish speak
and claim the loathe contenting
which turned from fickleness.
You shall leave those places,
each a camp raised in a shifting wilderness;
and no camp stayed its wilderness,
but wandered with it, into failing distance.
You shall reach this place.
You shall prophesy: ‘I have arrived here
and will discover to myself what is here.’
But not because of you,
that you shall have better, know better,
than you had, than you knew.
Is truth that delight, that truth,
that lengthened age
past death’s abrupt meridian—
the temporal habit put away
like drudging error?