If a thief gave you his friendship, would you take of it and feel it? Would you sit inside his patterned house among strangers' memorabilia And watch his tongue when he remarks on the lamp from Aunt Cecilia? The truth has always suffered, and the thief has always lied. By law or thief or money the truth is never paid. Raphael's Madonna, blithe upon the wall officiates at snooker; Surely those eyes, so sad, so full, so wise they'd spot emergent Christ Among all the convergent lice, surely they forgive the hand that took her. The priceless art and conversation conspire to do you good; You thrill that every turn of social talk might have a twisted end. He recalls your foibles lightly; lightly, he's your friend. So take the offset printed coaster that is offered obliquely; Let the politely proffered crumbcake sit center on the doilies-- And in his tepid eyes behind his tea see if you are his. The truth has always suffered, and the thief has always lied. By law or thief or money the truth is never paid. By valentine's the command comes down to pen two loving stanzas; You lean and stare and calmly crib them on a millionaire's cadenza: "Love is that which gives and gives and finds in taking, splendour."