The Inquest

Original Text: 
Money-Coutts, Francis Burdett. The Alhambra and Other Poems (London, New York, John Lane, 1898): 25. 23447.17.9 Widener Library, Harvard
1Not labour kills us; no, nor joy:
2    The incredulity and frown,
3The interference and annoy,
4    The small attritions wear us down.
5The little gnat-like buzzings shrill,
7The common curses of the will --
9And more than all, the look askance
10    Of loving souls that cannot gauge
11The numbing touch of circumstance,
12    The heavy toll of heritage.
13It is not Death, but Life that slays:
14    The night less mountainously lies
15Upon our lids, than foolish day's
16    Importunate futilities!

Notes

6] hurdy-gurdies: droning hand-held musical instruments. Back to Line
8] cerements: clothes for the dead. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
1898
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
2005
Rhyme: 
Form: