My Masters

The first of all my masters was Delight—
I bent my knee to worship him, and sought
His ministers, and all the bliss they wrought,
In Day's large splendor, and the peace of Night,
In song, and mirth, and every goodly sight;
Until fair Love another lesson taught,
And bitter pain dearer than pleasure brought,
And my whole soul was subject to his might.

Brief while I strove for Fame—his laurel wreath
Seemed good to wear, and dear the fleeting breath
With which men praise the idol of an hour;
But one drew nigh me clothed upon with power,
And looking in the awful eyes of Death
I knew the Master at whose touch we cower.
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