Bullets blot out the Life-Time smile,
Apollo of the picture-page,
Blunt-faced young lion Caught by vile
Death in an everlasting cage:

And, no more young men in the world,
The old men troop to honour him.
The drums beat glum, Slight snow is swirled
In dazzling sun, pale requiem.

And pale dark-veiled Persephone,
A golden child In either hand,
Stands by white pillars; Silently,
It seems she might for ever stand.

In bright grey sun, processionals
Of pomp and honour, and of grief,
Crown that dead head With coronals.
Some stony hearts feel some relief:

But not your heart, America,
Beating so slow and sure and strong,
Stricken in his Triumphal car,
Guara Caesar’s bitter laurels long

With soldiers’ music, rites of war:
He had proved bravely when put on!
The soldiers shoot. Rage echoes far
Above the grave at Arlington

This Issue

December 26, 1963