Verse > Anthologies > Harriet Monroe, ed. > Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, 1912–22
Harriet Monroe, ed. (1860–1936).  Poetry: A Magazine of Verse.  1912–22.
Sentimental Dirge
By Emanuel Carnevali
From “The Splendid Commonplace”

SWEETHEART, what’s the use of you—
When the night is blue,
And I’m sad with the whisper of the skies,
And I’m heavy and I’m weary
With my many lies?        5
There is no music around me—
Not a sound
But the whisper of the skies:
I am bound
To my sadness with so slender, so thin ties—        10
Oh, so thin, still you can’t break them.
Sweetheart, what’s the use of you?
And within me, what then pains,
When it rains?
Ah, the drops fall on the wound        15
And it pains.
For my soul’s a naked wound,
The rain-drops are salty tears.
Are they tears of some great giant
Who still fears,        20
Just like me,
For the morrows, for the things that passed away—
For the dead, dead yesterday?
Sweetheart, what’s the use of you?—
When the laughters are too few;        25
When the trees will no more sing
For the wind;
When they wave their ghastly arms,
Naked arms,
In despair, and no one heeds;        30
And my soul is like the reeds
Stooping under the low wind
Hopelessly—like the reeds,
Broken, that shall rise no more
And sing softly as before—        35
For the wind has been too cruel
And too strong.
’Neath the snow, wet, lies the fuel:
And the flame
Of my laughter, of all laughters,        40
Now is dying. Oh, for shame!—
All you promised that first day!
What’ll you do for me, now, say,
What’ll you do for me?
What’s the use        45
Of you, sweetheart, what’s the use?

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