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Poem by Sidney Lanier


Strange Jokes


Well: Death is a huge omnivorous Toad
Grim squatting on a twilight road.
He catcheth all that Circumstance
Hath tossed to him.
He curseth all who upward glance
As lost to him.

Once in a whimsey mood he sat
And talked of life, in proverbs pat,
To Eve in Eden, -- Death, on Life --
As if he knew!
And so he toadied Adams wife
There, in the dew.

O dainty dew, O morning dew
That gleamed in the worlds first dawn, did you
And the sweet grass and manful oaks
Give lair and rest
To him who toadwise sits and croaks
His death-behest?

Who fears the hungry Toad? Not I!
He but unfetters me to fly.
The German still, when one is dead,
Cries out Der Tod!
But, pilgrims, Christ will walk ahead
And clear the road.



Sidney Lanier


Sidney Lanier's other poems:
  1. On Huntingdons "Miranda"
  2. Nirvana
  3. Marsh Hymns
  4. On Violets Wafers, Sent Me When I Was Ill
  5. Our Hills


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