Poems and Portraits

Poems and Portraits  (1922) 
by Don Marquis

Published in 1915. This text is also available from Project Gutenberg.

To the Memory of
The late
Joseph Hitt
This book is dedicated

We used to say: "A poseur's trick!
For rhymes inscribed 'In Memory'
Mean just the rhymester's vanity"...
And would your eyebrows twitch at this,
With your old winsome raillery?

You taugh me how to think: to see,
To fix the forms that to and fro
Across the mind's proscenium go;
You taught me how to write; 'tis not
Your fault I have not written so.

You taught me how to live; you showed
Defeat a mien that never quailed;
And with blithe lips that never paled
You flouted Pain. O Heart of Gold,
'Tis not your fault if I have failed!

You taught me how to die; when Death
Moved in between us, mute and grim,
You smiled and made a friend of him...
God grant to me a smile like yours
When the blurred day lessens and grows dim!

And should this seem a stark parade
Of such a bond as mine and thine,
Forgive this boastful heart of mine
That brags it to the crowd, because
I love our names to intertwine.



This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1927.

The author died in 1937, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 80 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.