The Loser

He lost his money first of all
And losing that is half the story-
And later on he tried a fall
With fate, in things less transitory
He lost his heart-and found it dead-
(His one and only true discovery),
And after that he lost his head,
And lost his chances of recovery.
He lost his honour bit by bit
Until the thing was out of question.
He worried so at losing it,
He lost his sleep and his digestion.
He lost his temper- and for good-
The remnants of his reputation,
His taste in wine, his choice of food,
And then, in rapid culmination,
His certitudes, his sense of truth,
His memory, his self control,
The love that graced his early youth,
And lastly his immortal soul.

by Hilaire Belloc

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There is little doubt that this poem was written for and about the poet Francis Thompson.