From "A West Shire Lad".


        The Part That Can't Die

 When I meet the new morn's beam
 Or lay me down at night to dream,
 I hear my bones from in me say,
 "That's one more night, that's one more day.

 "When shall this slough of sense be cast,
 This dust of thoughts be laid at last,
 The man of flesh and soul be slain
 And the man of bone all that stays?

 "This tongue that talks, these lungs that shout,
 These thews that throw us in and out,
 This brain that fills the skull with schemes,
 And its hive (like bees) of dreams,--

 "These this day are proud in force
 And lord it in their own short course:
 The bones that can't die heed the will
 Of towards-death flesh and towards-death soul.

 "'Tis long till eve and morn are gone:
 Slow the night sans end comes on,
 And late to its time grows the birth
 That shall last as long as earth.

 "You fare to east, you fare to west,
 Know you why you can't just rest?
 'Tis that all the mom's own sons
 Fight it out with racks of bones.

 "Lie down in the bed of dust;
 Bear the fruit that bear you must;
 Bring the seed of Time to light
 And morn is all the same as night.

 "Rest you so from this fuss sore,
 Fear the heat o' the sun no more,
 Nor the snow of cold months wild,
 Now you strain not with child.

 "Cup that's drained, and clothes cast,
 We that wore you long shall last.
 --That's one more night, that's one more day."
 So my bones in me do say.

 And so they shall do my will
 This day while I can work them still,
 And flesh and soul, now both are strong,
 Shall hale the glum slaves on,

 Ere this flame of sense shall rot,
 This smoke of thought blow clean out,
 And leave with old night lone
 The staunch and lasts-long bone.

                                -- A.E. House Man