Richard Le Gallienne

(1866-1947 / England)

Reliquiae - Poem by Richard Le Gallienne

This is all that is left--this letter and this rose!
And do you, poor dreaming things, for a moment suppose
That your little fire shall burn for ever and ever on,
And this great fire be, all but these ashes, gone?

Flower! of course she is--but is she the only flower?
She must vanish like all the rest at the funeral hour,
And you that love her with brag of your all-conquering thew,
What, in the eyes of the gods, tall though you be, are you?

You and she are no more--yea! a little less than we;
And what is left of our loving is little enough to see;
Sweet the relics thereof--a rose, a letter, a glove--
That in the end is all that remains of the mightiest love.

Six-foot two! what of that? for Death is taller than he;
And, every moment, Death gathers flowers as fair as she;
And nothing you two can do, or plan or purpose or dream,
But will go the way of the wind and go the way of the stream.

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, April 14, 2010

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