Cool Tombs

by Carl Sandburg

WHEN Abraham Lincoln was shoveled into the tombs, he forgot the copperheads and the assassin … in the dust, in the cool tombs.

And Ulysses Grant lost all thought of con men and Wall Street, cash and collateral turned ashes … in the dust, in the cool tombs.

Pocahantas’ body, lovely as poplar, sweet as a red haw in November or a pawpaw in May, did she wonder? does she remember? … in the dust, in the cool tombs?

Take any streetful of people buying clothes and groceries, cheering a hero or throwing confetti and blowing tin horns … tell if the lovers are losers … tell me if any get more than the lovers … in the dust … in the cool tombs.

from Cornhuskers, 1918


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