Fundamental Frailties

Stones and bones, bones and stones:
Ancient and anointed thrones;
Buttresses of lighter things—
Seats of man and earth, their kings.

Stones and bones, bones and stones:
Mud and man have made them known;
One of sand, and one of skin—
One of land, and one of limb.

Bone for arm and stone for haugh;
Stone for barn and bone for jaw.
Carve them nicely, hold them fast—
Take their luck and make it last

If you can! Such charms may break:
Guard them closely, for love’s sake.
Quakes and wedges make stones splinter;
Old bones bend in bodies’ winter.

Peevish cobbles pulled from earth
Clamor dumbly on their turf;
So, a hip-bone slipped off-joint
Shakes the nerves at every point.

Tumbled stones and crumbled bones
Tremble, like their earthly home.
Fumbling, they mock the rod
Of the everlasting: God!

So, my friend, don't trust the stones;
Seek no peace in mortal bones.

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