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When I am dead and Sister to the Dust

Elsa Barker

When I am dead and sister to the dust;
 When no more avidly I drink the wine
 Of human love; when the pale Proserpine
Has covered me with poppies, and cold rust
Has cut my lyre-strings, and the sun has thrust
 Me underground to nourish the world-vine, —
 Men shall discover these old songs of mine,
And say:  This woman lived — as poets must!
This woman lived and wore life as a sword
 To conquer wisdom; this dead woman read
In the sealed Book of Love and underscored
 The meanings.  Then the sails of faith she spread,
And faring out for regions unexplored,
 Went singing down the River of the Dead.

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