Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, CYNICS, by EDWARD RALPH CHEYNEY

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CYNICS, by            
First Line: Between old pan and pandemonium
Last Line: We would reshape our lives—it is too late.
Alternate Author Name(s): Cheyney, Ralph
Subject(s): Life; War; World War I; First World War

Between old Pan and Pandemonium
Our lives hold all too little interlude.
Our day's bassoon, our blood's euphonium,
The old gods set the tone in the old, old feud.

Thin, flapping tatters on a line to dry
Between the walls of two grim tenements
With far away a handkerchief of sky ...
Behold our triumphs, failures, ravishments!

Brief, casual notes dictated but unread,
Soon burdening the air less than a flower,
Our lives are published but unedited,
Dull testimonials to an ancient power.

We would change dreams to truth—gray sleep betrays us;
End war—our arms are held by greed and hate;
And build a new Atlantis—change dismays us.
We would reshape our lives—it is too late.

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