A Human Skull.

A human skull ! I bought it passing cheap1
Of course ’twas dearer to its first employer ;2
I thought mortality did well to keep3
Some mute memento of the Old Destroyer.4
It is a ghostly monitor, and most5
Experienced our wasting sand in summing ;6
It is a grave domestic finger-post :7
Of Life,—an emblem of the shadows coming.8
Time was some may have prized its blooming skin :9
Here lips were woo’d perhaps in transport tender :10
Some may have chucked what was a dimpled chin,11
And never had my doubt about its gender !12
Did she live yesterday, or ages back ?13
What colour were the eyes when bright and waking,14
And were your ringlets fair, or brown, or black,15
Poor little head ! that long has done with aching ?16
It may have held (to shoot some random shots)17
Thy brains, Eliza Fry, or Baron Byron’s,18
The wits of Nelly Gwynn, or Doctor Watts,19
Two quoted bards ! two philanthropic syrens !20
But this I surely knew before I closed21
The bargain on the morning that I bought it22
It was not half so bad as some supposed,23
Nor quite as good as many may have thought it.24
Who love, can need no special type of Death :25
He bares his awful face too soon, too often ;-26
Immortelles” bloom in Beauty’s bridal wreath ;27
And does not yon green elm contain a coffin ?28
Oh ! cara mine, what lines of care are these ?29
The heart still lingers with the golden hours,30
An autumn tint is on the chesnut-trees,31
And where is all that boasted wealth of flowers ?32
If Life no more can yield us what it gave,33
It still is linked with much that calls for praises34
A very worthless rogue may dig the grave,35
But hands unseen will dress the turf with daisies.36