Sestina - Poem by David Mitchell
The year is fading away
From us in December’s snow and cold;
But Christmas is coming soon—
What joy that season will bring!
And how swift the foot of time!
How brief a thing is life!
I wonder whether I would prefer death to life,
That it shall be taken away
From me, and I shall live a short time
Only; I think of the icy cold
That Death will bring
Soon enough, or is it, perhaps, too soon,
To be taken, willing or unwilling, from a life,
That one’s parents did bring
One unconscious and unwilling; that taken away,
A life that perhaps, is dismal, dank, and cold;
But it must be, in a short time.
Or is it a long time?
Whether that is true or not, it feels too soon
And not soon enough to plunge into the cold
Waters of death from the comfort of life,
If it is comfort we are taken away
From. I want God to bring
Me to heaven; but I do not deserve Him to bring
Me there—not at this time;
But there is a way
When God wills it so, so soon;
When God wills it so with one’s life,
Which in itself was bleak and cold.
When I am dead I shall not feel cold;
If, as I hope, God shall bring
Me to heaven, I shall not be cold in that life,
Nor in hell, the thought of which fills me with dread, hot as hell all the time,
Not cold; I shall feel the warmth soon;
This life will soon melt away.
How cold it is in this life all the time!
God brings His Son; Christmas comes soon:
And life, at last, it vanishes away.
(22nd or 23rd December,2005.)
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