As the Ruin Falls by Clive Staples Lewis

All this is flashy rhetoric about loving you —
I never had a selfless thought since I was born.
I am mercenary and self-seeking through and through;
I want God, you, all friends merely to serve my turn.

Peace, re-assurance, pleasure are the goals I seek;
I cannot crawl one inch outside my proper skin;
I talk of love — a scholar’s parrot may talk Greek,
But self-imprisoned, always end where I begin.

Only that you now have taught me (but how late!) my lack,
I see the chasm; and everything you are was making
My heart into a bridge by which I might get back
From exile and grow man. And now the bridge is breaking.
For this I bless you as the ruin falls. The pains
You give me are more precious than all other gains.

From: http://www.thehypertexts.com/Best%20Elegies%20Dirges%20Laments%20and%20Poems%20of%20Mourning.html

Date: 1964 (published)

By: Clive Staples Lewis (1898-1963)

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