ELEGY FOR A CHILD | Helon Habila

This is how the world ends:
First, all beauty will die –
All that is green and pure, all
That inspires, elevates; all talent, for beauty,
Like yours, child, is a great talent.
Then all courage will die – all hope,
All that keep the fires burning,
All that won’t be bowed, cowed – like
You, child, who smiled and smiled to the end.
After beauty, and laughter, and courage,
After the fishes in the sea,
After the leaves are variegated, and
The flowers blighted, when
All songs have ended, then the
World’s roof will cave in, because
When you left, dear child,
The world’s pillar also crumbled.



Helon Habila is a Nigerian novelist and poet.