Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, PENREB'S TOMB, by BABETTE DEUTSCH



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PENREB'S TOMB, by            
First Line: Upon these stones time broke his teeth,' you said
Last Line: Gnaws at our hearts, careless of penreb's bones.
Alternate Author Name(s): Yarmolinsky, Avrahm, Mrs.
Subject(s): Graves; Tombs; Tombstones


"Upon these stones Time broke his teeth," you said.
We stood in Penreb's tomb, and stared upon
The hammered blocks that held the royal dead
Whose pomp still stood, altho' his breath was gone.
You said, "Slaves sweated for that narrow room."
Their scattered bones are mixed with desert sand;
But on the high walls, ruddy in the gloom,
The files of the king's servitors yet stand.

We shall not rear to death such monuments
With massive marble, nor with crimson chalk.
Nor wrap our withered limbs in cerements
More spicy than our rare ephemeral talk.
So Time, who broke his teeth upon these stones,
Gnaws at our hearts, careless of Penreb's bones.





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