Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, DIRGE, by KENNETH FEARING

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DIRGE, by         Recitation     Poem Explanation     Poet's Biography
First Line: 1-2-3 was the number he played but today the number came 3-2-1;
Subject(s): Conduct Of Life; Death; Death; Depressions, Economic; Gambling; Modern Man; Dead, The; Dead, The; Recessions; Wagering; Betting

I'm tired of livingó
What should I do?
Pretend life is worth living
And that I'm not through?
I'm finished, I'm beatenó
What's the use of trying?
I'm older, I'm weakeró
Why keep on lying?
Life is a welter of pleasure and pain,
And we fight and we struggle and go down again,
And we grapple and scratch with a fierce little will,
But we're licked and we're beaten and can't find a thrill.
So we lie down and die,
With a weary little sigh,
And we say, "What's the use?
It's all been abuse."
Dirge after dirge we sing,
And our voices rise up in a mournful ring,
Till the earth seems to tremble with our despair,
And the stars fade away and leave us there.
But still we keep on singing,
As though the dirge had some strange, sweet ringing,
As though the pain and the sorrow and the strife
Were a part of the beauty and the zest of life.
So we sing and we sing,
Till the bells begin to ring,
And the people gather round us in a throng,
And we die with a shout and a song

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