After I have listened
                          to gossip for an hour,

July 15, 2009

After I have listened
                          to gossip for an hour,
Vainly I imagine
                          that I’ve escaped its power.
Totally unconscious,
                          I drank in every word;
Soaked up all the passion
                          of everything I heard.
Thinking I’m impartial,
                          I never really dream
Someone I have honored
                          is losing my esteem.
Haven’t I intended
                          to vindicate my friend?
Haven’t I attempted
                          his motives to defend;
Spoken of his virtue,
                          and taken up his part?
Yet insinuations
                          were pressed upon my heart.
All I’ve said is nothing
                          but lame apology,
Not to be compared to
                          the vile effect on me.

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