[from Collected Works, T.E.Brown]


BOCCACCIO, for you laughed all laughs that are—
The Cynic scoff, the chuckle of the churl,
The laugh that ripples over reefs of pearl,
The broad, the sly, the hugely jocular ;
Men call you lewd, and coarse, allege you mar
The music that, withdrawn your ribald skirl,
Were sweet as note of mavis or of merle—
Wherefore they frown, and rate you at the bar.

One thing is proved : To count the sad degrees
Upon the Plague's dim dial, catch the tone
Of a great death that lies upon a land,
Feel nature's ties, yet hold with steadfast hand
The diamond, you are three that stand alone—
You, and Lucretius, and Thucydides.


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