Poets’ Epitaphs c1999

yeats's tombstone
Yeats dreamed of his final bed
Under bare Ben Bulben’s head,
Viewing this life’s transience
Coldly, with insouciance.
Rupert Brooke was forced to yield,
Cornered in a foreign field,
And under heaven’s starry dome,
The hunter Stevenson is home.
Those who follow glory’s path
Or favour the domestic hearth
Are bound, at last, like Thomas Gray,
To hear the knell at parting day.
Tennyson sailed out to sea,
Born forth to eternity,
Following the evening star
Noiselessly across the bar.
When the stone is carved for me,
Find some words of gravity
Or tranquility and calm.
A verse of scripture from a psalm,
Predictably the twenty-third,
Would make a fitting final word
And this, engraved in Hebrew font,
Would suit me well. I shall not want.

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