His heart broke. For the rest of his long life
he looked for ways of showing how that feels.
His view was that no man of honour steals
or pays attention to his best friend’s wife
even when she is widowed. And he wrote
songs of unhappy love, sextets that weep,
and long symphonic movements that will sweep
to tragic grandeur, broken by some note
that says greatness has pathos at its core,
The Fourth for instance, how a sudden flute
breaks into thunder, leaves the thunder mute
and yet is part of it. He wanted more
than life in autumn, watching leaves that fall,
creating greatness that is somehow small.