For those who die in blood bruise and amazement,
all pity fails - the anger, the distress,
calmed or distorted, a dead face; appeasement.
Remote in the elaborate cage of chess,
a pencilling on maps, they cross no path;
honour but find no anguish in that peace:
honour the failing majesty of death.

For those who live in their anonymous power,
battering the darkness in the drunken streets
- the animal wild exhalation of war,
blind struggle of the soul in horrible nets
- what rage, who are the sparks of old men's wrath?
The proud violence and danger of their nights
honour the failing majesty of death.

As Arden's blood burnt on the rushy stone,
tongues are stained into us; you may know the knife
by which our dancing March has been struck down;
how jealously we died of our own grief,
pursuing easy bitterness with no faith!
But bled in epitaphs, memory, life,
honour; the failing majesty of death.

Not the imperial event, sky-chasm,
the open fury only windows feel:
we break the light within us, lens and prism,
cold brightness of an infinite withdrawal:
honour us also: you are grown our truth
who would be vision, would be light, and fail.
Honour the failing, majesty of death.