On the Sale of the Love-Letters of a Dead Poet

By George Sterling

The fond and foolish lines writ for the one—
    On those the gaping many have their will.
    About the grave contending voices shrill,
In profanation of a trust undone:
The dead man sleeps, and protest has he none
    On those that soil his passion's memory still.
    Where geese may crane before the sullied sill,
The heart's poor shrine lies open to the sun.

There is no grace of shadow for this flow'r,
    No balm of silence for this outraged love,
        Laid bare to leering peasants for a doom.
The ghouls are out before the midnight hour;
    The buzzards gather in the skies above;
        The stained hyena snuffles in the tomb.

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