"Death and Taxes" was Dorothy Parker's third collection of poetry, published in 1931. It includes:

Ballade of Unfortunate Mammals
Guinevere at Her Fireside
Prayer for a New Mother
Prologue to a Saga
Salome's Dancing-Lesson
Sweet Violets
The Lady's Reward
The Little Old Lady in Lavender Silk
Tombstones in the Starlight

Editor's note: Dorothy Parker's poetry should not be posted on E2, although original commentary about her and her work is of course welcome. Thank you for respecting the NAACP's wishes and E2's responsibilities in this matter. -- Lord Brawl

Death and taxes are the two inevitable consequences of being human according to the popular cliché (at least it's a popular one here in America).

The phrase is from the famous last words of Napoleon's sister-in-law, Elizabeth Bonaparte.

When a vistor remarked that nothing was as certain as death, Elizabeth countered, "Except taxes..."

Death and taxes, spaceflight praxis

Alongside a wan beam of our star
we are called to our home by pastels
with the greens and the yellow at heart
we pace back the cold wall of the night.

It seems wrong, in these crises of Earth
with the planet itself now at risk
to think spending our gold, much less selves
on uncertain pursuits can be right.

Human beings - so precious they are
so our chroniclers wish you to think
yet each one of them can, alone, die
without risking the race or the fight.

In all efforts we find worth pursuit
we see death lurking over the line;
yet the contest with this our old foe
is what brings the game up in our sight.

O, young child of our verdant warm Earth
find you comfort and thrill at the call
of a test of your species and work
which asks not that you risk life at all?

Atop pillars of fire and of force
at first glance a price not worth the game
will we lose those who sacrifice life
and then cheapen their loss and their names?

so thus cradle the death and the hurt
which you see and will dance with again
as you follow the call of the stars
and ride upwards on towers of flame.

A Wordmongers' Masque: Poets' Ball entry attempt in anapestic trimeter

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