Martin Robertson

Now and Then


Cornered in the bewildering night

Love summoned Dignity to fight,

and Pride, against Despair;

but Pride and Dignity

had touched so little at Love’s hand

they did not care to make a stand

against so huge an enemy.

Towards that half-seen enemy

Love walked alone, and presently

found—not indeed Despair

but, huge and grim enough,

the Black Knight of the Question-Mark,

and with him Fear… and in the dark

against them, sole and shaking, Love.

Then, almost fore-defeated, Love

sensed at his shoulder something move…

so whisper-faint… a dream?

No—if intangible,

still a warm presence at his side

to second him: unjustified,

unsummoned, Hope, the loyal fool.