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Vanity

A wan sky greener than the lawn,
A wan lawn paler than the sky.
She gave a flower into my hand,
And all the hours of eve went by.

Who knows what round the corner waits
To smite? If shipwreck, snare, or slur
Shall leave me with a head to lift,
Worthy of him that spoke with her.

A wan sky greener than the lawn,
A wan lawn paler than the sky.
She gave a flower into my hand,
And all the days of life went by.

Live ill or well, this thing is mine,
From all I guard it, ill or well.
One tawdry, tattered, faded flower
To show the jealous kings in hell.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton