Who will mourn more
When you are no more?
Whose sorrow will be worse?
Your ghost’s, crying, “not yet, not yet!”
Or your retinue’s, who will disperse
Slowly? Quickly? And who in your crowd will most pitifully cry?
Will the day of your death let
The rains come? Will there be a grieving nurse?
Who will be sadder: the world, or you, when you die?
Will oceans lament? Will the sparrows know?
What speeches will be spoken, when you, at last, whisper goodbye, and go?
What sentimental gestures are obligated to be made
When ruin puts on the human soul—
Death making it ugly—and removes it to that hole
Where every human shade
Makes its way, and the interminable sorrow
Of life ends; but we do not go—no,
Because life is a constant going—
What does your elegy know? Is sorrow the same as knowing?
Is love the thing which makes you see, at last
The one who really loved you, going
Back, just for another glimpse of you,
When life was bright, in the bright past?
Who will stay, for your death, and feel, at length, true sorrow?
Who will stay, now, to make for you, a true memorial for tomorrow?
Or is regal sorrow killed by a life too smart and quick to last?
Smart and quick never made us afraid.
Time exists. Look at this cemetery and its long, deep shade.
All is limited. Even love. When you flee,
I’ll be dying; your death won’t mean that much to me.