Stephen Vincent Benet

(1898 - 1943 / Pennsylvania / United States)

Elegy for an Enemy


(For G. H.)

Say, does that stupid earth
Where they have laid her,
Bind still her sullen mirth,
Mirth which betrayed her?
Do the lush grasses hold,
Greenly and glad,
That brittle-perfect gold
She alone had?

Smugly the common crew,
Over their knitting,
Mourn her -- as butchers do
Sheep-throats they're slitting!
She was my enemy,
One of the best of them.
Would she come back to me,
God damn the rest of them!

Damn them, the flabby, fat,
Sleek little darlings!
We gave them tit for tat,
Snarlings for snarlings!
Squashy pomposities,
Shocked at our violence,
Let not one tactful hiss
Break her new silence!

Maids of antiquity,
Look well upon her;
Ice was her chastity,
Spotless her honor.
Neighbors, with breasts of snow,
Dames of much virtue,
How she could flame and glow!
Lord, how she hurt you!

She was a woman, and
Tender -- at times!
(Delicate was her hand)
One of her crimes!
Hair that strayed elfinly,
Lips red as haws,
You, with the ready lie,
Was that the cause?

Rest you, my enemy,
Slain without fault,
Life smacks but tastelessly
Lacking your salt!
Stuck in a bog whence naught
May catapult me,
Come from the grave, long-sought,
Come and insult me!

WE knew that sugared stuff
Poisoned the other;
Rough as the wind is rough,
Sister and brother!
Breathing the ether clear
Others forlorn have found --
Oh, for that peace austere
She and her scorn have found!

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

What do you think this poem is about?



Read poems about / on: sister, brother, snow, woman, silence, elegy, hair, peace, red, wind, alone, god, women

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (Elegy for an Enemy by Stephen Vincent Benet )

Enter the verification code :

  • Rookie - 0 Points Luna Tsuki (5/13/2014 1:11:00 AM)

    Rest you, my enemy,
    Slain without fault,
    Life smacks but tastelessly
    Lacking your salt!
    Stuck in a bog whence naught
    May catapult me,
    Come from the grave, long-sought,
    Come and insult me! (Report) Reply

Read all 1 comments »

New Poems

  1. Women to Man's, Swrji Basumatary
  2. The Crosse Of Christ, Sir Walter Raleigh
  3. Love is complete, gajanan mishra
  4. When you know God, MOHAMMAD SKATI
  5. A Hymn, Sir Henry Wotton
  6. Raja Ravi Varma, Gangadharan nair Pulingat..
  7. Psalm CIV, Sir Henry Wotton
  8. Friendship, Afshan Fatima
  9. Shaking Off The Finger Tip, Is It Poetry
  10. Golden Glow, Col Muhamad Khalid Khan

Poem of the Day

poet John Clare

I love to see the old heath's withered brake
Mingle its crimpled leaves with furze and ling,
While the old heron from the lonely lake
Starts slow and flaps its melancholy wing,
...... Read complete »

 

Modern Poem

poet Grace Paley

 

Trending Poems

  1. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  2. All the World's a Stage, William Shakespeare
  3. Emmonsail's Heath in Winter, John Clare
  4. Daffodils, William Wordsworth
  5. Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
  6. Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas
  7. If, Rudyard Kipling
  8. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost
  9. If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
  10. A Fairy Song, William Shakespeare

Trending Poets

[Hata Bildir]