When NOTHING became conscious, it made a bad bargain.
This consciousness acquired individuality: a worse bargain.
The Hermit asked for love; worst bargain of all.
And now he has let his girl go to America, to have “success” in “life”: blank loss.
Is there no end to this immortal ache
That haunts me, haunts me sleeping or awake?
If I had Laylah, how could I forget
Time, Age, and Death? Insufferable fret!
Were I an hermit, how could I support
The pain of consciousness, the curse of thought?
Even were I THAT, there still were one sore spot-
The Abyss that stretches between THAT and NOT.
Still, the first step is not so far away:-
The Mauretania sails on Saturday!


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