by Luis G. Dato

Last night to a kinswoman’s wake we went —
The house threw o’er the street a garish glare,
And as we climbed the lighted, well-worn stair
I mused on life and death, what they all meant;
Man o’er the earth his faltering steps has bent
On this desire, that strife and whim and care
That all end in a dull and glassy stare
When riven from the flesh its flame is spent.

What the significance, ‘tis dark to think,
Of all this fever of the transient life,
When with the years we feel it ebb and sink,
What boots the struggle and the whimpering loss?
The roads are rough, and futile is the strife —
Their terminus? the graves grown green with moss?

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