Death pitying stood before one bent and old,
And said:—"Forbear your griefs, and go with me:
The tale of your misfortunes—all is told,
And I am come at last to set you free."
But, lo! the man fell trembling to his knees,
Affrighted, and entreating in sad plight:—
"Though poverty and pain deny me ease,
Yet spare me!—but a day—a single night!"
Then Death, disdaining misery so base,
Turned, silently, and sought whom life held dear.
He found you, my belovéd! in the place
You glorified, and touched you with his spear;
And as one startled wakes from a fair dream
He fain would dream again, if that might be,
You looked on Death clothed in his might supreme,
And gave yourself to him,—forgetting me.
All beauteous in the blossom-time of youth,
Ere yet a cloud your radiance could dim,—
You knew him for God's messenger, in truth,
And like an angel, went away with him.