The Cynic

By George Sterling

Doubters old and doubters young,
Swift of soul or swift of tongue,
Cease awhile your acrid laughter
At the now and the hereafter:
Laughter is as vain a thing
As the faith in pope or king.
Hushed a moment, dream with me
Of the silence that shall be
At the Inn of No Man's Land,
Seven steps from Lethe's sand.
There they never wake the sleeper;
There his slumber grows no deeper,
Being perfect from the first,
Shorn of dreams and free of thirst,
As the nothingness without
Meets the nothingness within.
There the dead who never doubt
Weep no more the unsinned sin,
For Medusa's eyeless ghost.
Futile enemies and friends,
Here's a rest for dusty feet,
Where the trail to Nowhere ends
And the lost found darkness sweet.
Here we find the truth at last,
Knowing nothing evermore:
Beauty holds her apple fast,
Though a worm be at the core;
Pleasure, where no wine is poured,
Knows not that his love has fled;
Courage, 'mid his dragon's dead,
Rusts no faster than his sword;
Wisdom, Folly's last ally,
Knows not that his ink is dry;
Lineage of blood or caste
Finds democracy at last.

All I said was said before-
Better said, I here deplore;
What I now am sad about,
Touching all aforesaid doubt,
Is, that when all doubtings cease,
What avail is all our peace,
If we cannot then compare
Sorrow once with slumber there. 

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