It was not solitude alone that slew him,
The dark precision of the days that passed;
He smiled at time that trusted to undo him,
But more than time awaited him at last—
Remembered fingers leafing quiet books,
The poised resistance of a tranquil chair,
Expectancy that held the garden nooks,
And one that walked in silence with him there.
Voices that spoke with unevasive candor
Through the long syllables of evening rain,
And nights that stabbed with now familiar slander,
And doors that opened and that closed again.
These, and the slow grimaces of a curtain,
Or pictures tilted in facetious winking—
These were enough to make a man uncertain,
And set far colder eyes than his to blinking.
And in the end they had their way and slew him—
It was not solitude and not regret—
Too many things there were that would pursue him,
That would not pardon and would not forget.