A Dirge of Joy
Oh! this is a joyful dirge, my friends, and this is a hymn of praise;
And this is a clamour of Victory, and a pæan of Ancient Days.
It isn’t a Yelp of the Battlefield; nor a Howl of the Bounding Wave,
But an ode to the Things that the War has Killed, and a lay of the Festive Grave.
’Tis a triolet of the Tomb, you bet, and a whoop because of Despair,
And it’s sung as I stand on my hoary head and wave my legs in the air!
Oh! I dance on the grave of the Suffragette (I dance on my hands and dome),
And the Sanctity-of-the-Marriage-Tie and the Breaking-Up-of-the-Home.
And I dance on the grave of the weird White-Slave that died when the war began;
And Better-Protection-for-Women-and-Girls, and Men-Made-Laws-for-Man!
Oh, I dance on the Liberal Lady’s grave and the Labour Woman’s, too;
And the grave of the Female lie and shriek, with a dance that is wild and new.
And my only regret in this song-a-let as I dance over dale and hill,
Is the Yarn-of-the-Wife and the Tale-of-the-Girl that never a war can kill.
Oh, I dance on the grave of the want-ter-write, and I dance on the Tomb of the Sneer,
And poet-and-author-and-critic, too, who used to be great round here.
But “Old Mother Often” (“Mother of Ten”) and “Parent” escaped from the grave—
And “Pro Bono Publico” liveth again, as “Victis,” or “Honour the Brave.”
Oh, lightly I danced upon Politics’ grave where the Friend of the Candidate slept,
And over the Female Political Devil, oh wildly I bounded and leapt.
But this dance shall be nothing compared with the dance of the spook of the writer who sings
On the grave of the bard and the Bulletin’s grave, out there at the Finish of Things!
Henry Lawson's Other Poems
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Comments about this poem (A Dirge of Joy by Henry Lawson )
- Pushed, Celeste Bracey
- Web, Marshall Gass
- Republic, Marshall Gass
- The Obvious, Lawrence S. Pertillar
- Split-second, Marshall Gass
- Refusing To Wear Masks, Lawrence S. Pertillar
- She- the Lighthouse!, Marshall Gass
- apex, Cee Bea
- Darkness, Kumar Aggarwal
- comets wait for us, because we're sort o.., Mandolyn ...
Poem of the Day
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
- A Drinking Song, William Butler Yeats
- Dinner Guest: Me, Langston Hughes
- Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
- The Listeners, Walter de la Mare
- Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
- Invictus, William Ernest Henley
- If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
- Alone, Edgar Allan Poe
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(April 13,1939 - August 30, 2013)
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(31 October 1795 – 23 February 1821)
William Butler Yeats
(13 June 1865 – 28 January 1939)