"The Hour Is Late"

IT SEEMED to me in the night
I had no art after all.
That all I had tried to make
Was never for its own sake,
Stank with impurity,
And that what my enemies said
My kind friends left unsaid.
Then it seemed to me
I stumbled in a dark hall
In an unfamiliar house
Where I had no business to be.
Did vanity espouse
Such self-deceiving as mine?
As though not tree but vine —
As though not girl but kiss —
Were the reality.
Or had I at first some reason?
The beginning as true for me
As for some luckier men
Who quarried the light of day
Out of such night as this?
There was nothing to which to pray,
And the night was very late.
I could neither love nor hate
Who had lived so long alone
With an invented ghost
That now was utterly gone.
A naked man in a strange house
In the dark, nameless and lost.