One Kind of Advice

by THEODORE SPENCER
THEY said to him, “Surrender, and be kind;
The giving-in will silence all the pain;
Nothing is cruel but mind, cruel mind.
Rebels are blind; why with the blind be blind?
Orchards return; summer returns again;
Nothing is cruel but mind, cruel mind.
Set free your gnawing fox, and you will find
Less Spartan heavens and a gentler reign,”
They said to him. “Surrender, and be kind.
Priests bless; when war is done the treaty’s signed.
Why should the ruined struggle to complain?”
They said to him, “Surrender, and be kind.
Comfortable fingers comfort the resigned;
Fury for fury is all fury’s gain:
Nothing is cruel but mind, cruel mind.
Laugh with the moment’s clown at what’s behind;
Drop the time-table; take the waiting train!”
They said to him, “Surrender, and be kind;
Nothing is cruel but mind, cruel mind.”