Sonnet 56: The dreams of dying men

Are written in the ink of night, and penned
With fervor on a sheet of parlour-white,
Blazed on the signs where gentlemen alight
And hold umbrellas, gazing on the sand
Fresh-turned, and splashed with wet sobriety,
The wording blotted by the feet of girls
And boys, all sombre, shuffling feet in swirls,
All watching the manic variety
Of frantic thoughts evaporating, quick
As silver, solvent in the evening light,
To leave a blank upon the endless reams
Of soil that covers him, his walking stick,
That hides his hat and, evermore polite,
So gently smothers what remains of dreams.