Saturday, August 9, 2014


I have a box of matches and they go
 To light a fire for warmth, a pipe for peace,
A lamp for guidance, or the candle's glow
 For friendliness when daylight labors cease;
Or one may come to nothing - broke in two,
 Or in the ashes shed its scarlet crown,
Or scorch your fingers, burn a carpet through,
 Or lay brick in ruins, or a town.
So they are spent, and vanish one by one,
 Brief altar-flames to happiness or strife.
What shall I do when all of them are gone?
 The matches are my years, the box my life.

 -F. H. in London Observer

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