I long not now, a little while at least,
For that serene interminable hour
When I shall leave this barmecidal feast,
With poppy for my everlasting flower.
I long not now for that dim cubicle
Of earth to which my lease will not expire,
Where he who comes a tenant there may dwell
Without a thought of famine, flood, or fire.
Surely that house has quiet to bestow:
Still tongue, spent pulse, heart pumped of its last throb,
The fingers tense and tranquil in a row,
The throat unwelled with any sigh or sob.
But time to live, to love, bear pain and smile,
Oh, we are given such a little while!
From Caroling Dusk (Harper & Brothers, 1927), edited by Countee Cullen. This poem is in the public domain.