The More Loving One

Looking up at the stars, I know quite well
That, for all they care, I can go to hell,
But on earth indifference is the least
We have to dread from man or beast.

How should we like it were stars to burn
With a passion for us we could not return?
If equal affection cannot be,
Let the more loving one be me.

Admirer as I think I am
Of stars that do not give a damn,
I cannot, now I see them, say
I missed one terribly all day.

Were all stars to disappear or die,
I should learn to look at an empty sky
And feel its total dark sublime,
Though this might take me a little time.

 

by W.H. Auden (1907-1973).

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One Response to “The More Loving One”

  1. Anton Garrett Says:

    AE Housman on the same theme at

    http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~martinh/poems/housman.html#LPxl

    Final stanza:

    For nature, heartless, witless nature,
    Will neither care nor know
    What stranger’s feet may find the meadow
    And trespass there and go,
    Nor ask amid the dews of morning
    If they are mine or no.

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