The Fates | A poem by Wilfred Owen (1917)

The Fates | A poem by Wilfred Owen (1917)
Portrait of Frances Virginia Lee Harris, 1903

They watch me, those informers to the Fates,
Called Fortune, Chance, Necessity, and Death;
Time, in disguise as one who serves and waits,
Eternity, as girls of fragrant breath.
I know them. Men and Boys are in their pay,
And those I hold my trustiest friends may prove
Agents of Theirs to take me if I stray
From fatal ordinance. If I move they move—

Escape? There is one unwatched way: your eyes,
O Beauty! Keep me good that secret gate!
And when the cordon tightens of the spies
Let the close iris of your eyes grow great.
So I’ll evade the vice and rack of age
And miss the march of lifetime, stage by stage.

The Fates, Wilfred Owen (1917)

Ocular gymnastics  a woman performs a focal-depth exercise to improve her sight, 1937
Wilfred Owen, The Fates, 30th June 1917 – 1st July 1917  (…)

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