The Tortoise in Eternity

Within my house of patterned horn
I sleep in such a bed
As men may keep before they're born
And after they are dead.
Sticks and stones may break their bones,
And words may make them bleed;
There is not one of them who owns
An armor to his need.
Tougher than hide or lozenged bark,
Snow−storm and thunder proof,
And quick with sun, and thick with dark,
Is this my darling roof.
Men's troubled dreams of death and birth
Pulse mother−o'−pearl to black;
I bear the rainbow bubble Earth
Square on my scornful back.

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1925.

The author died in 1928, 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.