What the Sexton Said

By Vachel Lindsay 1879–1931 Vachel Lindsay
Your dust will be upon the wind
Within some certain years,
Though you be sealed in lead to-day
Amid the country’s tears.

When this idyllic churchyard
Becomes the heart of town,
The place to build garage or inn,
They’ll throw your tombstone down.

Your name so dim, so long outworn,
Your bones so near to earth,
Your sturdy kindred dead and gone,
How should men know your worth?

So read upon the runic moon
Man’s epitaph, deep-writ.
It says the world is one great grave.
For names it cares no whit.

It tells the folk to live in peace,
And still, in peace, to die.
At least, so speaks the moon to me,
The tombstone of the sky.

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Poet Vachel Lindsay 1879–1931

Subjects Living, Time & Brevity, Sorrow & Grieving, Death

Occasions Funerals

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza, Common Measure, Elegy

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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