Treasure Island

Laura Riding

(January 16, 1901 – September 2, 1991 / New York City)

The Poet's Corner


Here where the end of bone is no end of song
And the earth is bedecked with immortality
In what was poetry
And now is pride beside
And nationality,
Here is a battle with no bravery
But if the coward's tongue has gone
Swording his own lusty lung.
Listen if there is victory
Written into a library
Waving the books in banners
Soldierly at last, for the lines
Go marching on, delivered of the soul.

And happily may they rest beyond
Suspicion now, the incomprehensibles
Traitorous in such talking
As chattered over their countries' boundaries.
The graves are gardened and the whispering
Stops at the hedges, there is singing
Of it in the ranks, there is a hush
Where the ground has limits
And the rest is loveliness.

And loveliness?
Death has an understanding of it
Loyal to many flags
And is a silent ally of any country
Beset in its mortal heart
With immortal poetry.

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

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  • Nalini Hebbar (6/20/2006 7:20:00 PM)

    poetry and love for country...both brave acts...writing thoughts that create opinions...fighting wars that create divisions...lovely...laura...this took me a long time to understand...did i get it right? (Report) Reply

  • Frank James Ryan Jr...fjr (4/14/2006 7:30:00 PM)

    LAURA...PRETTY SURE OF WHAT THE THEME &MESSAGE WAS THAT YOU WERE SO ELLOQUENTLY DELIVERING...AND IF MY READ IS ON THE MONEY, I MOST DEFINITELY ASCRIBE TO YOUR ASSESSMENTS AS WELL
    AS YOUR EVERSO CLEVER TITLE.(I think many of us stood at that corner of
    disception, where museums, libraries, conventions & fictitious documents of accolade leave most of those involved at the DEAD END of LITERSCAMERY RD.
    GREAT PIECE...A PERFECT 10! (Report) Reply

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