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Henry VI, Part III (1590-1591)


      But … we saw our sunshine made thy spring
     And that thy summer bred us no increase….

As a swan, evenly matched,
swims against the current,
neither conquered nor conqueror,


the inevitability of losing,
in the days, months, years
I have left of what this is.


Even a marble hand
wears out after almost
sixty years of rain.


All the hours I’ve spent
on a body of work, that’s
now the shadow of a life,


that will be crossed-out
by whatever comes next,
not even slowing the tide.




[Excerpt from The Shakespeare Poems.]