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Short poem

Amy Levy (1861-1889)

Epitaph (on a Commonplace Person Who Died in Bed)

              1THIS is the end of him, here he lies:
              2The dust in his throat, the worm in his eyes,
              3The mould in his mouth, the turf on his breast;
              4This is the end of him, this is best.
              5He will never lie on his couch awake,
              6Wide-eyed, tearless, till dim daybreak.
              7Never again will he smile and smile
              8When his heart is breaking all the while.
              9He will never stretch out his hands in vain
            10Groping and groping--never again.
            11Never ask for bread, get a stone instead,
            12Never pretend that the stone is bread.
            13Never sway and sway 'twixt the false and true,
            14Weighing and noting the long hours through.
            15Never ache and ache with chok'd-up sighs;
            16This is the end of him, here he lies.

Online text copyright © 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.

Original text: Amy Levy, A Minor Poet And other Verse, 2nd edn. (1884: London: T. Fisher Unwin, 1891), p. 88. PR 4886 L25M5 Robarts Library.
First publication date: 1884
RPO poem editor: Ian Lancashire
RP edition: RPO 1998.
Recent editing: 2:2002/1/23

Rhyme: aabbccddeeffggaa

Other poems by Amy Levy