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Auden, W. H.: Leap Before You Look

Portre of Auden, W. H.

Leap Before You Look (English)

The sense of danger must not disappear:

The way is certainly both short and steep,

However gradual it looks from here;

Look if you like, but you will have to leap.


Tough-minded men get mushy in their sleep

And break the by-laws any fool can keep;

It is not the convention but the fear

That has a tendency to disappear.


The worried efforts of the busy heap,

The dirt, the imprecision, and the beer

Produce a few smart wisecracks every year;

Laugh if you can, but you will have to leap.


The clothes that are considered right to wear

Will not be either sensible or cheap,

So long as we consent to live like sheep

And never mention those who disappear.


Much can be said for social savoir-faire,

But to rejoice when no one else is there

Is even harder than it is to weep;

No one is watching, but you have to leap.


A solitude ten thousand fathoms deep

Sustains the bed on which we lie, my dear:

Although I love you, you will have to leap;

Our dream of safety has to disappear.

Uploaded byP. T.
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