Why should not old men be mad?
some have known a likely lad
that had a sound fly-fisher's wrist
turn to a drunken journalist;
a girl that knew all Dante once
live to bear children to a dunce;
A Helen of social welfare dream,
climb on a wagonette to scream.
Some think it a matter of course that chance
should starve good men and bad advance,
that if their neighbours figured plain,
As though upon a lighted screen,
No single story would they find
of an unbroken happy mind,
a finish worthy of the start.
Young men know nothing of this sort,
observant old men know it well;
and when they know what old books tell
and that no better can be had,
know why an old man should be mad.