I. The Minor Poet
His little trills and chirpings were his best.
No music like the nightingale’s was born
Within his throat; but he, too, laid his breast
Upon a thorn.
II. The Pretty Lady
She hated bleak and wintry things alone.
All that was warm and quick, she loved too well-
A light, a flame, a heart against her own;
It is forever bitter cold, in Hell.
III. The Very Rich Man
He’d have the best, and that was none too good;
No barrier could hold, before his terms.
He lies below, correct in cypress wood,
And entertains the most exclusive worms.
IV. The Fisherwoman
The man she had was kind and clean
And well enough for every day,
But, oh, dear friends, you should have seen
The one that got away!
V. The Crusader
Arrived in Heaven, when his sands were run,
He seized a quill, and sat him down to tell
The local press that something should be done
About that noisy nuisance, Gabriel.
VI. The Actress
Her name, cut clear upon this marble cross,
Shines, as it shone when she was still on earth;
While tenderly the mild, agreeable moss
Obscures the figures of her date of birth.
Tombstones in the Starlight
(1893 – 1967)