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ONLY THY DUST …

By Don Marquis
From “Poems and Portraits,” 1922

Only thy dust is here, thy dust …
But when chill May uncloses
Her petals and is June, I feel
A heartbeat shake the roses.

Earth and the sun were sweet to us,
Green grass and brooks and laughter …
And I cannot think of thee a ghost
Within some strange hereafter.

Dawn and the hills were glad of us,
Tossed corn and windy meadows …
And I should not know thee as a shade,
Pallid among pale shadows.

Stars and the streams were friends to us,
Clear skies and wintry weather …
And it was not wraith and wraith with us,
But flesh and blood together.

Only the dust of thee is here …
But when mine own day closes
I will lie down deside thee, love,
And mingle with thy roses.

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