While I stood listening, discreetly dumb,
Lorraine was having the last word with me:
“I know,” she said, “I know it, but you see
Some creatures are born fortunate, and some
Are born to be found out and overcome,-
Born to be slaves, to let the rest go free;
And if I’m one of them (and I must be)
You may as well forget me and go home.
“You tell me not to say these things, I know,
But I should never try to be content:
I’ve gone too far; the life would be too slow.
Some could have done it-some girls have the stuff;
But I can’t do it: I don’t know enough.
I’m going to the devil.”-And she went.
I did not half believe her when she said
That I should never hear from her again;
Nor when I found a letter from Lorraine,
Was I surprised or grieved at what I read:
“Dear friend, when you find this, I shall be dead.
You are too far away to make me stop.
They say that one drop-think of it, one drop!-
Will be enough,-but I’ll take five instead.
“You do not frown because I call you friend,
For I would have you glad that I still keep
Your memory, and even at the end-
Impenitent, sick, shattered-cannot curse
The love that flings, for better or for worse,
This worn-out, cast-out flesh of mine to sleep.”