In misty cerements they wrapped the word My heart had feared so long: dead... dead... I heard But marvelled they could think the thing was true Because death cannot be for such as you. So while they spoke kind words to suit my need Of foolish idle things my heart took heed, Your racquet and worn-out tennis shoe, Your pipe upon the mantel,—then a bird Upon the wind-tossed larch began to sing And I remembered how one day in Spring You found the wren’s nest in the wall and said “Hush!... listen! I can hear them quarrelling...” The tennis court is marked, the wrens are fled, But you are dead, beloved, you are dead
This poem is in the public domain.
I wanted a man's face looking into the jaws and throat
With something proud on his face, so proud no smash
of the jaws,
No gulp of the throat leaves the face in the end
With anything else than the old proud look:
Even to the finish, dumped in the dust,
Lost among the used-up cinders,
This face, men would say, is a flash,
Is laid on bones taken from the ribs of the earth,
Ready for the hammers of changing, changing years,
Ready for the sleeping, sleeping years of silence.
Ready for the dust and fire and wind.
I wanted this face and I saw it today in an Aztec mask.
A cry out of storm and dark, a red yell and a purple prayer,
A beaten shape of ashes
waiting the sunrise or night,
something or nothing,
Originally published in 1913, this poem is in the public domain.