A Refusal to Mourn the Death, by Fire, of a Child in London

Dylan Thomas

 
Never until the mankind making
Bird beast and flower
Fathering and all humbling darkness
Tells with silence the last light breaking
And the still hour
Is come of the sea tumbling in harness
And I must enter again the round
Zion of the water bead
And the synagogue of the ear of corn
Shall I let pray the shadow of a sound
Or sow my salt seed
In the least valley of sackcloth to mourn
The majesty and burning of the child's death.
I shall not murder
The mankind of her going with a grave truth
Nor blaspheme down the stations of the breath
With any further
Elegy of innocence and youth.
Deep with the first dead lies London's daughter,
Robed in the long friends,
The grains beyond age, the dark veins of her mother,
Secret by the unmourning water
Of the riding Thames.
After the first death, there is no other.
 
From The Poems of Dylan Thomas, published by New Directions. Copyright © 1952, 1953 Dylan Thomas. Copyright © 1937, 1945, 1955, 1962, 1966, 1967 the Trustees for the Copyrights of Dylan Thomas. Copyright © 1938, 1939, 1943, 1946, 1971 New Directions Publishing Corp. Used with permission.

Poems by This Author

And death shall have no dominion by Dylan Thomas
And death shall have no dominion
Do not go gentle into that good night by Dylan Thomas
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Fern Hill by Dylan Thomas
Now as I was young and easy under the apple boughs
I see the boys of summer by Dylan Thomas
I see the boys of summer in their ruin
Light breaks where no sun shines by Dylan Thomas
Light breaks where no sun shines;
My hero bares his nerves by Dylan Thomas
My hero bares his nerves along my wrist
Our eunuch dreams by Dylan Thomas
Our eunuch dreams, all seedless in the light
Poem [Your breath was shed] by Dylan Thomas
Your breath was shed
The force that through the green fuse drives the flower by Dylan Thomas
The force that through the green fuse drives the flower


Further Reading

Related Poems
London
by William Blake
Poems About Funerals
In Memoriam, [To Sleep I give my powers away]
by Lord Alfred Tennyson
Age and Death
by Emma Lazarus
Because I could not stop for Death (712)
by Emily Dickinson
Bomb Crater Sky
by Lam Thi My Da
By ways remote and distant waters sped (101)
by Gaius Valerius Catullus
Driven across many nations (101)
by Gaius Valerius Catullus
For the Union Dead
by Robert Lowell
Fugue of Death
by Paul Celan
In Flanders Fields
by John McCrae
Night Funeral in Harlem
by Langston Hughes
O Captain! My Captain!
by Walt Whitman
Question
by May Swenson
Song ["When I am dead, my dearest"]
by Christina Rossetti
Suddenly
by Sharon Olds
The Earth Opens and Welcomes You
by Abdellatif Laâbi
The World as Seen Through a Glass of Ice Water
by Dobby Gibson
Untitled [This is what was bequeathed us]
by Gregory Orr
What Came to Me
by Jane Kenyon