My grandfather oscillant in a grave
Neither he nor I have seen,
Rocked, perhaps, by what I am
And what he might have been
Had he been the son of his son
And not my father’s sire,
To what ease of body, cease of toil
He might then aspire,
Taking at first my common lot
Of property and possession
As miracle and bounty of the Lord
Blessing his succession,
Yet would he not, at six feet seventy years
And millenial mind’s remove,
Seeing my yieldless discontent,
Tear his cerements, reprove
And mourn me dead as he below,
I having but exchanged his God for goods
And traded woe for woe?

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This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 4 Number 2, on page 48
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