A Poet's Epitaph (Elliott)

For works with similar titles, see A Poet's Epitaph.

Stop, Mortal! Here thy brother lies,
The Poet of the Poor.
His books were rivers, woods and skies,
The meadow and the moor,
His teachers were the torn hearts’ wail,
The tyrant, and the slave,
The street, the factory, the jail,
The palace — and the grave!
The meanest thing, earth’s feeblest worm,
He fear’d to scorn or hate;
And honour’d in a peasant’s form
The equal of the great.

But if he loved the rich who make
The poor man’s little more,
Ill could he praise the rich who take
From plunder’d labour’s store.
A hand to do, a head to plan,
A heart to feel and dare —
Tell man’s worst foes, here lies the man
Who drew them as they are.

This work was published before January 1, 1925, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.