It was growing dark when Rawcliffe surfaced for the last time. Enderby had sent the boys out, sick of the hand-wringing and snivelling. He sat at the other side of Rawcliffe's chair, smoking the local cigarettes that were called Sport, not drinking. The thought of drink made him shudder. When Rawcliffe surfaced, it was with an accession-that condemned man's supper-of clarity and calm. He said:
"Who's that there?"
"Ah yes, Enderby. Know your poetry well. Stole one of your ideas once, a bloody good one. No regrets. Now I give you something in return. My last poem. It came to me in sleep. Listen." He cleared his throat like an elocutionist and intoned slowly but with vigour:
"The benison of lights and the
Hides of asses and the
Milk of the tide's churns.
She should not have
Rejected me like any copulative
Of the commonalty.
Too much light, Enderby. Turn one of those lights off."
There were no lights on. “I’ve done that," Enderby said.
"Good, Now where was I? Ah, I know. Listen.
At length I heard a ragged noise and mirth
Of thieves and murderers. There I him espied,
Who straight, Your suit is granted, said, and died."
“That," Enderby said, "is George Herbert."
Rawcliffe suddenly began to rage. "It's not it's not it's not you fucking swine. It's me. Me." In the dusk his head rolled. Quietly, "Your suit is granted," he said, and died. With the conventional accompaniment of rattle and postlude of rictus and liquidity.