He sighed with relief. He had got the job. He was safe.
Putting on his gown, he prepared for the long years to come
That he saw, stretching like aisles of stone
Before him. He prepared for the unreal life
Of exercises, marks, honour, speech days, and games,
And the interesting and pretty animals that inspired it all
And made him a god. No, he would never fail.
Others, of course, had spoken of the claims
Of living: they were merely desperate.
His defense of Youth and Service silenced it.
It was acted as he planned: grown old and favourite,
With most Old Boys he was quite intimate –
For though he never realised it, he
Dissolved. (Like sugar in a cup of tea.)