Mortality

O THAT the dust had eyes to see the sun,
When he rejoices in an April sky!
Believed I this, more tranquil might I lie,
Soft in the dust, when my bright days are done.
Or had it ears to hear this wind that passes,
Or hands to feel the softness of this rain, —
Truly to lie with dust were not such pain,
Dust softly closed about by roots of grasses.
But to forego this exquisite gift of sense,
Laughter in sunlight, love of lovely things;
Have the world’s beauty that the full heart sings
Scattered in darkness, fathomless, immense, —
And all the laughter that w’as I dispersed,
Never to be united, nevermore! —
O Earth, reach hands to me; I walk the shore
Of some black ocean, pitiless and accursed.
Reach hands to me! lest I be swept away
And hear this music crumble down like clay.