Young America

If America had died young, Like Alexander! Granted, young Alex, in drunken rage, ran His cousin through with a spear. But a good spear: stout and sharp, Fresh from spearmaker’s shop. His eye was clear, his belly flat, He ruled what he overran: Men spoke Greek ten centuries In the Hindu Kush. Dead At twenty-seven of a fever— Malady unknown to nations. His will: to kratisto! Time Herself obeyed; time brought Her palm to young America. Here was Alexander god In life; permanent Alexander; Marble in Maryland swamp. To those who remember her! They dodder in their homes, They corrode in the mud. Tibet Is better known. Our Alex, Two hundred five and going Quite strong, impounds Throne under glacier of fat, Yellow and bone-stiff. His heart is a basketball, Delicate as a sparrow, old As a turtle, scarred as a whale. His claret comes in carboys. His smell is extraordinary. The world fears him; his Eunuchs deceive him; his Wife screams at him. Him Fools adore; cynics loathe; Ordinary men assume. The wise avert their eyes, Consider his stout youth.