The Mourners

I look into the aching womb of night;
I look across the mist that masks the dead;
The moon is tired and gives but little light,
The stars have gone to bed.

The earth is sick and seems to breathe with pain;
A lost wind whimpers in a mangled tree;
I do not see the foul, corpse-cluttered plain,
The dead I do not see.

The slain I would not see . . . and so I lift
My eyes from out the shambles where they lie;
When lo! a million woman-faces drift
Like pale leaves through the sky.

The cheeks of some are channelled deep with tears;
But some are tearless, with wild eyes that stare
Into the shadow of the coming years
Of fathomless despair.

And some are young, and some are very old;
And some are rich, some poor beyond belief;
Yet all are strangely like, set in the mould
Of everlasting grief.

They fill the vast of Heaven, face on face;
And then I see one weeping with the rest,
Whose eyes beseech me for a moment's space. . . .
Oh eyes I love the best!

Nay, I but dream. The sky is all forlorn,
And there's the plain of battle writhing red:
God pity them, the women-folk who mourn!
How happy are the dead!

by Robert William Service

Comments (18)

The poet is truly gifted..
To quote the words of Dr. King. A person should be judged by the content of their character and not the color of their skin. A true to life poem that a child could understand.
....it is sad there is this racial issue....but this is the gift given to humanity from previous generations...they (the parents) should have taught their children to love one another....love should be taught to children and not hate......hate is a word which should not be...
This poem spoke to me...
I love this, I really on the writing of people like Hughes, & also Maya Angelou, to understand what life was like I can read history books but the good guys dont always write the books.
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