There are wolves in the next room waitingwith heads bent low, thurst out, breathingat nothing in the dark; between them and meA white door patched with light from the hallWhere it seems never (so still is the house)A man has walked from the front door to the stairIt has all been forever. Beasts claw the floor.I have brooded on Angels and ArchfiendsBut no man has ever sat where the next room’s Crowded with wolves, and for the honour of manI affirm that never have I before. Now whileI have looked for the evening star at a cold windowand whistled when Arcturus spilt his lightI’ve heard the wolves scuffle and said:
So this Is Man; so-what better conclusion is there- The day will not follow night, and the heart of a man has little dignity.but less patience
Than a wolf’s, and a duller sense that cannotsmell its own mortality. (This and and other meditations will be suited to other times after dog silence howls his epitaph.)Now remember courage, go to the dooropen it and see whether coiled on the bedor cringing by the wall, a savage beastMaybe with golden hair, with deep eyeslike a bearded spider on the sunlit floorWill snarl- and man can never be alone.

Allen Tate 
Drawing by Rachael McHan

There are wolves in the next room waiting
with heads bent low, thurst out, breathing
at nothing in the dark; between them and me
A white door patched with light from the hall
Where it seems never (so still is the house)
A man has walked from the front door to the stair
It has all been forever. Beasts claw the floor.
I have brooded on Angels and Archfiends
But no man has ever sat where the next room’s
Crowded with wolves, and for the honour of man
I affirm that never have I before. Now while
I have looked for the evening star at a cold window
and whistled when Arcturus spilt his light
I’ve heard the wolves scuffle and said:

So this Is Man; so-what better conclusion is there- The day will not follow night, and the heart of a man has little dignity.
but less patience


Than a wolf’s, and a duller sense that cannot
smell its own mortality. (This and and other meditations will be suited to other times after dog silence howls his epitaph.)
Now remember courage, go to the door
open it and see whether coiled on the bed
or cringing by the wall, a savage beast
Maybe with golden hair, with deep eyes
like a bearded spider on the sunlit floor
Will snarl- and man can never be alone.

Allen Tate 

Drawing by Rachael McHan