Poems by Isaac Rosenberg/The Tower of Skulls

III

THE TOWER OF SKULLS

Mourners

These layers of piled-up skulls,
These layers of gleaming horror—stark horror!
Ah me! Through my thin hands they touch my eyes.

Everywhere, everywhere is a pregnant birth,
And here in death's land is a pregnant birth.
Your own crying is less mortal
Than the amazing soul in your body.
Your own crying yon parrot takes up
And from your empty skull cries it afterwards.

Thou whose dark activities unenchanted
Days from gyrating days, suspending them
To thrust them far from sight, from the gyrating days
Which have gone widening on and left us here,
Cast derelicts lost for ever.

When aged flesh looks down on tender brood
For he knows between his thin ribs' walls
The giant universe, the interminable
Panorama—synods, myths and creeds,
He knows his dust is fire and seed.