I, the forgotten, rejected, the Great Unwanted,
unwelcomed, unmissed in departing, in loss unlamented,
I who have walked in the umbras of wasted seasons,
dwelt in the midden of others’ discarded lessons,
for none of my betters would taste the nauseous wisdom —
only the dying take medicine, and they but seldom,
for attar of funeral roses is sweeter solace —
I, I alone, know such thirst as to drink from that chalice. 

You, who have lived among lovers, all singing your praises,
each of them damning all rivals by jealous assizes,
bowing before you, strewing your path with white petals,
taking your causes upon them, your wounds and your battles;
You who are fulsomely flattered by talk of your talent —
no emptier word ever spoken, and none so repellent,
for talent will rot ere it ripens, where toil endures ages —
You shall have fool’s gold and five minutes’ fame for your wages.

You call me a poisoner, lunatic, justly forsaken,
for the truth that I tasted is hemlock and wormwood when spoken.
If I let spill one astringent drop of that philtre,
you deem it my heart’s libation poured out on your altar;
then, taking for sovereign your charms, my mocking for candid,
delight in rejecting a suit that I never intended.
You say that you see me repine? Your sight is askew:
My tears are but dross, yet why should I spend them on you?

Ah, pity the fool who gives heed to a sycophant’s message!
They tell you the sun but reflects your irradiant visage;
they tell you your genius proves the existence of magic;
they tell you your footless beliefs are the standard of logic.
But when flattery fails, and charisma, and talent, and youth,
you, even as I, shall taste the unwatered truth.
Then I, inured to that bitter cup, shall arise
while you, despising, despairing, dissolve with your lies. 

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