Patrick Kavanagh

No Social Conscience

He was an egoist with an unsocial conscience, And I liked him for it though he was out of favour, For he seemed to me to be sincere, Wanting to be no one’s but his own saviour. He saw the wild eyes that are the Public’s Turned on the one man who held Against the gangs of fear his ordinary soul – He did no public service but lived for himself. His one enthusiasm was against the hysteria, Those dangerous men who are always in procession Searching for someone to murder or worship – He never qualified for a directorship or a State pension.

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