Clay Feet
by F. Scott Fitzgerald


Clear in the morning I can see them sometimes:
Men, gods and ghosts, slim girls and graces—
Then the light grows, noon burns, and soon there come times
When I see but the pale and ravaged places
Their glory long ago adorned.—And seeing
My whole soul falters as an invalid
Too often cheered. Did something in their being
Of worth go from them when my ideal did?

Men, gods and ghosts, cast down by that young damning,
You have no answer; I but heard you say,
“Why, we are weak. We failed a bit in shamming.”
—So I am free! Will freedom always weigh
So much around my heart? For your defection,
Break! You who had me in your keeping, break! Fall
From that great height to this great imperfection!
Yet I must weep.—Yet can I hate you all?

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