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Lionel Johnson (Лайонел Джонсон)


The Destroyer of a Soul


I HATE you with a necessary hate.
First, I sought patience: passionate was she:
My patience turned in very scorn of me,
That I should dare forgive a sin so great,
As this, through which I sit disconsolate;
Mourning for that live soul, I used to see;
Soul of a saint, whose friend I used to be:
Till you came by! a cold, corrupting, fate.

Why come you now? You, whom I cannot cease
With pure and perfect hate to hate? Go, ring
The death-bell with a deep, triumphant toll!
Say you, my friend sits by me still? Ah, peace!
Call you this thing my friend? this nameless thing?
This living body, hiding its dead soul? 



Lionel Johnson's other poems:
  1. The Precept of Silence
  2. Dead
  3. Ways of War
  4. Oxford
  5. July


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