While Death Sits At The Window-Sill
Gloomy night has come and gone,
the moments, hushed, where once they wailed;
a hooded figure sits at my side,
with scythe in hand, intentions veiled.
The image of the crescent moon
is in the dream of that dread blade,
his amber gaze is fearsome cold -
a wish to make all things fade.
My silent guest in midnight's garb,
sprawls at the window-sill and waits,
and a little black-bird comes to him,
and in those ghosts, I see my fate.
The hooded will not rush to me,
but the winged one will hear my pleas,
both life and death before me now,
both swelling like wind-tossed seas.
Hail blackbird, my beloved, I say,
you are always welcome here,
stay awhile now at my side,
though it seems friend Death is fearful near.
The black-bird lands on my shoulder
and offers a peck at my pallid skin,
I suspect we understand each other,
and I offer her my icy grin.
While death sits at the window-sill,
She sings her little song for me,
and in I turn I give her my words;
we embrace each other's poetry.
She sang to me ideals and dreams,
while I spoke of gods and fantasy,
we spoke of honour and love and truth,
of hope and wild philosophy.
We dreamed of burning all things down,
and then of building things anew,
worlds were slaughtered in our words,
then remade for the honourable few.
We let our fancies take our hearts,
for so we lived for the first time,
having been so dead before,
now revived by prose and rhyme.
And now and then He'd turn to us,
and offer us a fearful smile,
and black-bird and I both shivered then -
we had but a little while.
‘Take what time you have, ' said he,
I'll not begrudge you love nor sorrow,
glut your heart's indulgence now,
for you, perhaps, there's no tomorrow.
Ignore my presence, or you are lost,
if you always toil in endless fear,
you'll never find joy in life or love,
if you always think that Death is near.'
And so we turned away from him,
and spoke again, first soft, then loud,
to mask our own fears again,
of the figure ‘neath that fearful shroud.
And in time, we knew comfort,
we spoke at ease and again knew peace,
understood hope and love again,
and drew then strength without surcease.
Until the days we feel fatigue,
and with our words impart our hearts,
and take our fill of love and life
we shall with content hearts depart.
For we'll remember at the end,
when we've at last imparted our will,
that while we lived, and loved and spoke,
that Death sat at the Window-sill.
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