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Mainstream, VOL LVI No 25 New Delhi June 9, 2018

They Flee From Me Who Sometime Did Me Seek

Sunday 10 June 2018, by Badri Raina

(With Acknowledgement to Thomas Wyatt)

They flee from me who sometime did me seek,
Finding fault where none was before;
Every proclaimed success now seems to them
A canny cover-up for failure.

Once a man of substance to droves
Across a so aspiring spectrum,
My thunderings now annoy
Like the groans of a hollow drum.

Too late now for me to emulate
Examples of sincere, subdued men
Who speak little but deliver
Without gruesome discrimination.

I may of course still cause a blast
That sunders men into mine and thine,
Or beat the drums of righteous war,
Obliging the realm to fall in line.

But what is this my gut intimates—
That the empire may no more be ruled—
Curse the awakened hoi polloi
Who resent having been fooled.

Badri Raina

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