A friend of mine got married too early: at 18, to someone he had known for a few months. This is for him.

For A Second J.C.

A young and dazèd boy who's cried too much
wanders, lonely, through these deepest years.
Engulfed in folly felt too near to heed,
he stops, sharp sword now drawn, before this scene:
A chalice stands, full filled with deep red wine (5)
reflecting dreams that pierce from wounded eyes.
An angel, feathered wings enshrouding her,
Comes forth to share the drink he's longed to take.
She lifts the draught, gold-precious, to her lips
and, seized by fear and doubt now loses grip (10)
upon what long ago he left to age.
The spirits, blood of saviour he dreamed up
spill and empty onto wretched dust.
His heart and visage drop---all hopes are dashed
upon the rocks that deck the cruèl ground. (15)
He presses tip of sword into his ribs
and falls---in falling hopes to fill again
the cup with blood, a fresher vintage drink
to send, perhaps, unto a luckless youth,
that in his bitter end he might do good. (20)
But even that he hopes to pour anew
falls short, and forms libation to the earth.

-- Neil Moore