The book was not bound in dust cover;
And there was in it dog-eared appreciation
Of nameless eyes that with zest did devour.
I scanned the volume from cover to cover
Yet the thought was left in mint condition;
Then took the other leather bound in gold
Within were pages, abstract passages of cant
Being sorry no space for both was in the hold
I chose the bromides the wisdom of men of old
That the world in general love descant.
In vellum and leather bound was wisdom
That suits man in statecraft and cloth well;
Such ideas and deeds that rang man’s freedom
I could perceive was what it lacked : wisdom
Of cant howev’r stood me exceedingly well.
At graves mouth men have sighed before
I wonder what might have had I picked
The book of plain prose instead of the other.
The beguiling cant needs be in gilt and thunder
Served and my red and benefice to it owed.
This is a take off on Robert Frost’s
The Road Not Taken
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I –
I took the one less traveled by
And that has made all the difference.