Speed the Parting ---

Original Text: 
Trivial Breath (New York: Alfred Knopf, 1928). H&SS A-4657 Robarts Library. Cf. Collected Poems of Elinor Wylie, foreword by William Rose Benét (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1945): 121-22. PS 3545 Y45 A17 Robarts Library
1I shall not sprinkle with dust
2A creature so clearly lunar;
3You must die -- but of course you must --
4And better later than sooner.
5But if it should be in a year
6That year itself must perish;
7How dingy a thing is fear,
8And sorrow, how dull to cherish!
9And if it should be in a day
10That day would be dark by evening,
11But the morning might still be gay
12And the noon have golden leavening.
13And beauty's a moonlight grist
14That comes to the mills of dying;
15The silver grain may be missed
16But there's no great good in crying.
17Though luminous things are mould
18They survive in a glance that crossed them,
19And it's not very kind to scold
20The empty air that has lost them.
21The limpid blossom of youth
22Turns into a poison berry;
23Having perceived this truth
24I shall not weep but be merry.
25Therefore die when you please;
26It's not very wise to worry;
27I shall not shiver and freeze;
28I shall not even be sorry.
29Beautiful things are wild;
30They are gone, and you go after;
31Therefore I mean, my child,
32To charm your going with laughter.
33Love and pity are strong,
34But wisdom is happily greater;
35You will die, I suppose, before long,
36Oh, worser sooner than later!
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
2004