The Tortoise in Eternity
by Elinor Wylie (1885-1928)
Within my house of patterned horn
I sleep in such a bed
As men may keep before they’re born
And after when they’re dead.
Sticks and stones may break their bones,
And words may make them bleed;
There is not one of them who owns
An armour to his need.
Tougher than hide or lozenged bark,
Snow-storm and thunder proof,
And quick with sun, and thick with dark,
Is this my darling roof.
Men’s troubled dreams of death and birth
Pulse mother-o’-pearl to black;
I bear the rainbow bubble Earth
Square on my scornful back.