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Carl Sandburg (1878–1967). Chicago Poems. 1916.

34. Chamfort

THERE’S Chamfort. He’s a sample.

Locked himself in his library with a gun,

Shot off his nose and shot out his right eye.

And this Chamfort knew how to write

And thousands read his books on how to live,

But he himself didn’t know

How to die by force of his own hand—see?

They found him a red pool on the carpet

Cool as an April forenoon,

Talking and talking gay maxims and grim epigrams.

Well, he wore bandages over his nose and right eye,

Drank coffee and chatted many years

With men and women who loved him

Because he laughed and daily dared Death:

“Come and take me.”