Elinor Morton Wylie

7 September 1885 – 16 December 1928 / Somerville, New Jersey

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 when they're dead.

Sticks and stones may break their bones,
And words may make them bleed;
There is not one of them who owns
An armour 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
Puls mother-o'-pearl to black;
I bear the rainbow bubble Earth
Square on my scornful back.
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