1 JANUARY 1965, Page 21

To a Timid Old Roisterer

Slip gently out into the wintry night, Last bitter night, too harsh, too cold For shivering flesh, too dark when dying light Has puffed the candle out. You have been bold To climb ambition's heights, To ride in many a bed, To lead gay roistering bought by money's fling.

Now you are old, near blind; old loves are dead: Thin blood to breath and wine would closely cling.

Go gently out into the winter night, Last, cold, dark night, without one friendly gleam. Grope gently on towards the distant dawn. Fulfilment of each lover's highest dream.