Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, TO A YOUNG POET WHO KILLED HIMSELF, by ALFRED JOYCE KILMER



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TO A YOUNG POET WHO KILLED HIMSELF, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: When you had played with life a space
Last Line: "and don't you think you were an ass?"
Alternate Author Name(s): Kilmer, Joyce
Subject(s): Poetry & Poets


When you had played with life a space
And made it drink and lust and sing,
You flung it back into God's face
And thought you did a noble thing.
"Lo, I have lived and loved," you said,
"And sung to fools too dull to hear me.
Now for a cool and grassy bed
With violets in blossom near me."

Well, rest is good for weary feet,
Although they ran for no great prize;
And violets are very sweet,
Although their roots are in your eyes.
But hark to what the earthworms say
Who share with you your muddy haven:
"The fight was on -- you ran away.
You are a coward and a craven.

"The rug is ruined where you bled;
It was a dirty way to die!
To put a bullet through your head
And make a silly woman cry!
You could not vex the merry stars
Nor make them heed you, dead or living.
Not all your puny anger mars
God's irresistible forgiving.

"Yes, God forgives and men forget,
And you're forgiven and forgotten.
You might be gaily sittle shame?
And don't you think you were an ass?"








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