Margaret Widdemer: The Jester
I have known great gold Sorrows:
Majestic Griefs shall serve me watchfully
Through the slow-pacing morrows:
I have knelt hopeless where sea-echoing
Dim endless voices cried of suffering
Vibrant and far in broken litany:
Where white magnolia and tuberose hauntingly
Pulsed their regretful sweets along the air-—
All things most tragical, most fair,
Have still encompassed me . . .
I dance where in the screaming market-place
The dusty world that watches buys and sells,
With painted merriment upon my face,
Whirling my bells,
Thrusting my sad soul to its mockery.
I have known great gold Sorrows . . .
Shall they not mock me, these pain-haunted ones,
If it shall make them merry, and forget
That grief shall rise and set
With the unchanging, unforgetting suns
Of their relentless morrows?