A dead man dead for weeks
Is sickening food for lover’s eye
That seeks and ever seeks
A fair one’s beauty ardently!
Did that thing live of late?
That sodden thing of ebony head
With empty holes that gape?
Good God! will I be that, when dead?
Perhaps those blackened bones
Were subtly fashioned hand and wrist
That made sweet violin tones,
Or held a face till lips had kissed!
Perhaps – but no! it cannot be,
This thing is but a heap of slime –
A hideous mockery –
The man is safe from rotting Time:
Then stick it underground!
It is a thing for spades not tears;
And make no mourning sound,
And finished, have no fears!
For, glowing in some woman’s heart,
He lives embalmed, unchanging, and apart!
Then come! let’s kill the memory of this place –
O friends! it had a hideous, ebony face!