Too many young men now wish they were old
and spend their days walking like old men,
looking for wisdom in cold, drafty corners
from the wives of men who are dead and cold.
Too many old men still think they are young
and spend their days walking like young men,
barking out laughter they still think is brave,
but is bitter and brittle and cold like their hearts.
Too many young girls now wish they were famous,
would live in a palace made out of men’s dreams,
they leave all the young men to sleep with the old men,
to sleep with old legends on pillows of jade.
Too many old women still think they are young,
they look to a mirror in broken men’s eyes,
they ask all the young men to dress up as old men
and dance to a sad tune that once was a kiss.
For here in Fitzrovia, your world does turn slowly,
like wise men you huddle to talk of a star;
there are still songs a-falling from your white, frightened faces,
but none of you see how perfect you are.
The Hardening Ground