31 MAY 1930, Page 15

The Moth

WHAT of the moth which falls Through the oil flame at night, A living animal thing,

With dew damp on his wings On the dust there ?

He flutters hesitantly, Through the half-open window, On blunt curves of flight, Leaving the twigs and grasses, The friendly shadows.

What of him when the light Exacts its fee for a minute

Of happy wondering approach—

When he emerges skeleton-winged And blind from the flame ?

Was he intrepid ? adventurous ? Had some instinct wrong in a moth, Some undue faith impelled him ? Had conscious foolishness Deserved rebuke ?

Was he so tortured ?

And not for love, or daring, Or joy tasted—unless The minute of approach endured A thousand years !

Surely justice was poised here ! Surely the scales were true Surely his state now, Balanced some former sin— If moths sin But balance passed thought, When I went close and saw The twisted unmade form, The cruelly twitching feet And the burned wings ; Before a man who loved All things beheld it too, And being less tied than God, Put it, with kind hands, Beneath his foot. LYLE DONAGHY.