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Friday, April 15, 2011


(Louis Untermeyer, poet laureate, 1961-1963)


Why are the things that have no death
The ones with neither sight nor breath!
Eternity is thrust upon
A bit of earth, a senseless stone.
A grain of dust, a casual clod
Receives the greatest gift of God.
A pebble in the roadway lies —
It never dies.

The grass our fathers cut away
Is growing on their graves today;
The tiniest brooks that scarcely flow
Eternally will come and go.
There is no kind of death to kill
The sands that lie so meek and still. . . .
But Man is great and strong and wise —
And so he dies.

~ Louis Untermeyer (1885-1997), American writer, translator, and poet, and compiler of poetry anthologies

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