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Countee Cullen, "Lines to our Elders" (1927)
12023-05-09T13:16:22-04:00Amardeep Singhc185e79df2fca428277052b90841c4aba30044e12131plain2023-05-09T13:16:22-04:00Amardeep Singhc185e79df2fca428277052b90841c4aba30044e1Lines to Our Elders
YOU too listless to examine If in pestilence or famine Death lurk least, a hungry gamin Gnawing on you like a beaver On a root, while you trifle Time away nodding in the sun, Careless how the shadows crawl Surely up your crumbling wall, Heedless of the Thief’s footfall, Death’s whose nimble fingers rifle Your heartbeats one by weary one,— Here’s the difference in our dying: You go dawdling, we go flying. Here’s a thought flung out to plague you: Ours the pleasure if we’d liever Burn completely with the fever Than go ambling with the ague.