To A Young Poet Who Killed Himself by Joyce Kilmer
When you had played with life a space And made it drink and lust and sing, You flung it back into God's face And thought you did a noble thing. "Lo, I have lived and loved," you said, "And sung to fools too dull to hear me. Now for a cool and grassy bed With violets in blossom near me." Well, rest is good for weary feet, Although they ran for no great prize; And violets are very sweet, Although their roots are in your eyes. But hark to what the earthworms say Who share with you your muddy haven: "The fight was on -- you ran away. You are a coward and a craven. "The rug is ruined where you bled; It was a dirty way to die! To put a bullet through your head And make a silly woman cry! You could not vex the merry stars Nor make them heed you, dead or living. Not all your puny anger mars God's irresistible forgiving. "Yes, God forgives and men forget, And you're forgiven and forgotten. You might be gaily sinning yet And quick and fresh instead of rotten. And when you think of love and fame And all that might have come to pass, Then don't you feel a little shame? And don't you think you were an ass?"