Exit

Original Text: 
Wilson MacDonald, Out of the Wilderness (Ottawa: Graphic Publishers, 1926): 129-31.
1Easily to the old
2    Opens the hard ground:
3But when youth grows cold,
4    And red lips have no sound,
5Bitterly does the earth
6    Open to receive
7And bitterly do the grasses
8    In the churchyard grieve.
9Cold clay knows how to hold
10    An agèd hand;
11But how to comfort youth
12    It does not understand.
13Even the gravel rasps
14    In a dumb way
15When youth comes homing
16    Before its day.
17Elizabeth's hair was made
18    To warm a man's breast,
19Her lips called like roses
20    To be caressed;
21But grim the Jester
22    Who gave her hair to lie
23On the coldest lover
24    Under the cold sky.
25But Elizabeth never knew,
26    Nor will learn now,
27How the long wrinkle comes
28    On the white brow;
29Nor will she ever know,
30    In her robes of gloom,
31How chill is a dead child
32    From a warm womb.
33O clay, so tender
34    When a flower is born!
35Press gently as she dreams
36    In her bed forlorn.
37They who come early
38    Must weary of their rest--
39Lie softly, then, as light
40    On her dear breast.
41Unflowered is her floor,
42    Her roof is unstarred.
43Is this then the ending--
44    Here, shuttered and barred?
45Nay, not the ending;
46    She will awake
47Or the heart of the earth
48    That enfolds her will break.
49Easily to the old
50    Opens the hard ground:
51But when youth grows cold,
52    And red lips have no sound,
53Bitterly does the earth
54    Open to receive
55And bitterly do the grasses
56    In the churchyard grieve.
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire / Sharine Leung
RPO Edition: 
2011
Rhyme: 
Form: