Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE POET'S DEATH, by EBENEZER JONES



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THE POET'S DEATH, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Now the poet's death was certain, and the leech had left the room
Last Line: And ten thousand thousand like him, stuff the earth with such like graves.
Subject(s): Death; Poetry & Poets; Dead, The


Now the Poet's death was certain, and the leech had left the room;
Only those who fondly loved him, waited to receive the doom;
And the sister he loved best, whiter than hemlock did veer;
And she bent, and 'life is going' faintly whispered in his ear.

Though her fingers clasped his fingers, though her cheek by his did lay;
Though she whispered 'I am dying; with thee, death hath no dismay;'
Fiercely sprang the startled Poet, and his eye did fight through space;
While dark agony did thicken his drawn lips, and wrench his face.

Sister arms did wind around him, knelt his sire beside the bed;
And his mother busied round him, love extinguishing her dread;
But the Poet heeded nothing, fixing still his fighting eye,
Gathering, gathering, gathering inward, that he was that hour to die.

Now the sound of smothered sobbings smote upon his distant mind,
And he turned a glance around him, that each gazer's love divined;
The torture in his face did stagger once before his mother's look;
Then came back more whiteningly, while his neck did downward crook.

From his crook'd down neck, his visage struggled love back through its pain,
First to one, and then to another, and then left them all again;
As the sister wept against him, shudderingly to her he turned;
And his lips did open at her, and his eyes for language yearned.

Quick at her his lips did open, strivingly his eyelids rose,
But no sound, no word, no murmur, their fast gesturings did disclose;
Straightly pointed he his arm then, where his poet-desk was lain;
To his grasp the sister brought it, while the stillness throbbed amain.

From his desk the Poet tore the unformed scriptures of his soul;
And to them he fiercely pointed, while his eyes large tears did roll;
'Perfected, my memory earth to endless time would love and bless;
I must die, and these will live not!' through his lips at last did press.

Whiter grew the gazing faces, as the cliffs that sunshine smites,
When they found no aid could come from earthly loves, or priestly rites;
O'er his scriptures he fell forward, and they all did trust and say,
That the last wild pang was on him, for as still as stone he lay.

But than lightning's flash more sudden, he did spurn the abhorred bed;
And a moment he stood tottering, tossed defyingly his head;
Ere one reached him, he was fallen, lifeless, and his wide dulled eye
Rigid with the fierce defiance that had just refused to die.

To the gloomy troop of Atheists, gibberingly the sister ran;
While the praying father kneeling, hurled at her his pious ban;
In the churchyard lies the Poet, and his scent the air depraves;
And ten thousand thousand like him, stuff the earth with such like graves.





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