The Detective Story

All goes to plan, both lying and confession,
Down to the thrilling final chase, the kill.
Yet on the last page just a lingering doubt:
That verdict, was it just? The judge’s nerves,
That clue, that protestation from the gallows,
And our own smile… why yes…
But time is always killed. Someone must pay for
Our loss of happiness, our happiness itself.

( W. H. Auden, “Detective Story”)