25 OCTOBER 1963, Page 30

This Seems True

The landlord joined us when he'd locked the door.

I said, 'What more has life to give than this? Enough Scotch in us and the chance of more— To drink can be as poignant as to kiss.

We savour life, now, comfortable and sad, Resigned to die but not to go to bed, Aware of beauty, but not driven mad By hope or horror.' That seems true,' they said.

My wife rang up, as she had done before, Said she was lonely, but I sat my ground. She burst in later, shouting from the door, As I was ordering another round, 'You've spent the money that we need to buy Clothes for our children. Christ! As long as you Can talk and drink I can be left to die— It isn't fair.' My friends said, 'That seems true.'