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Poem by Joshua Henry Jones, Jr. in "The Book of American Negro Poetry" (1922)
12022-08-11T12:07:31-04:00Amardeep Singhc185e79df2fca428277052b90841c4aba30044e12131plain2022-08-11T12:07:31-04:00Amardeep Singhc185e79df2fca428277052b90841c4aba30044e1TO A SKULL
Ghastly, ghoulish, grinning skull, Toothless, eyeless, hollow, dull, Why your smirk and empty smile As the hours away you wile? Has the earth become such bore That it pleases nevermore? Whence your joy through sun and rain? Is 't because of loss of pain? Have you learned what men learn not That earth's substance turns to rot? After learning now you scan Vain endeavors man by man? Do you mind that you as they Once was held by mystic sway; Dreamed and struggled, hoped and prayed, Lolled and with the minutes played? Sighed for honors; battles planned; Sipped of cups that wisdom banned But would please the weak frail flesh; Suffered, fell, 'rose, struggled fresh? Now that you are but a skull Glimpse you life as life is, full Of beauties that we miss Till time withers with his kiss? Do you laugh in cynic vein Since you cannot try again? And you know that we, like you, Will too late our failings rue? Tell me, ghoulish, grinning skull What deep broodings, o'er you mull? Tell me why you smirk and smile Ere I pass life's sunset stile.