Act 3: Dido and Aeneas: Henry Purcell: dd. 1695)
By Robert Balfour
An old man is thin, his generation thinner;
and longer and more lean to absorb, is the memory
of being young.
Death is alone, friendless.
(Now I am young
full in sap, suck, and stupidity).
But myself remember this.
In deference to my line and friend
– whom I love, whose fears I also feel;
a loss of our love,
power, hope –
carve one strong and gentle figure to Silence.
He can show – hand to earth and eyes to sun –
my breath where to pass, small and shy,
among weeds, and leaves, and sky.