The Man of Habit

WHAT is so wonderful as dying?
The man that’s lying here
Has year by placid year
Slept, eaten, worked and taken ease,
On habit, use, and clocks relying,
Until each act outrode volition,
And only in accurate repetition
Could he find peace.
He carped at draughts,
Hating even a wayward breeze about him;
Avoided argument;
Let new movements go on without him,
Loving the grooves that had worn so deep.
He could rise and work and eat and sleep,
Could love and hate and laugh and weep,
Only by habits’ prompting.
Well, he, the habit-bound,
The man of dull meticulous round,
Has risked the great adventure now.
I almost think his narrow brow
Has taken on more breadth since dying.
What do his eyes see, the white lids under,
That the lips should be curved with such fugitive wonder,
Lips that in life were pinched and shrunken?
Do they see, perhaps, the spirit drunken
With shoreless night?
With un-houred light?
Ah, by the one vast chartless road
Small souls, like great, go home to God!