Verse > Anthologies > Andrew Macphail, ed. > The Book of Sorrow
Andrew Macphail, comp.  The Book of Sorrow.  1916.
VI. The Grave’s Triumph
A Saxon Epitaph
By Marjorie L. C. Pickthall (1883–1922)
The earth builds on the earth
  Castle and towers;
The earth saith of the earth:
  All shall be ours.
Yea, though they plant and reap        5
  The rye and the corn,
Lo, they were bond to Sleep
  Ere they were born.
Yea, though the blind earth sows
  For the fruit and the sheaf,        10
They shall harvest the leaf of the rose
  And the dust of the leaf.
Pride of the sword and power
  Are theirs at their need
Who shall rule but the root of the flower,        15
  The fall of the seed.
They who follow the flesh
  In splendour and tears,
They shall rest and clothe them afresh
  In the fullness of years.        20
From the dream of the dust they came
  As the dawn set free.
They shall pass as the flower of the flame
  Or the foam of the sea.
The earth builds on the earth        25
  Cities and towers.
The earth saith of the earth:
  All shall be ours.

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