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?


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