Isabel Ecclestone Mackay

(25 November 1875 – 15 August 1928 / Canada)

The Tyrant - Poem by Isabel Ecclestone Mackay

ONE comes with foot insistent to my door,
Calling my name;
Nor voice nor footstep have I heard before,
Yet clear the calling sounds and o'er and o'er--
It seems the sunlight burns along the floor
With paler flame!

''Tis vain to call with morning on the wing,
With noon so near,
With Life a dancer in the masque of Spring
And Youth new wedded with a golden ring--
When falls the night and birds have ceased to sing
My heart may hear!

''Tis vain to pause. Pass, friend, upon your way!
I may not heed;
Too swift the hours; too sweet, too brief the day:
Only one life, one spring, one perfect May--
I crush each moment, with its sweets to stay
Life's joyous greed!

'Call not again! The wind is roaming by
Across the heath--
The Wind's a tell-tale and will bear your sigh
To dim the smiling gladness of the sky
Or kill the spring's first violets that lie
In purple sheath--

'If you must call, call low! My heart grows still,
Still as my breath,
Still as your smile, O Ancient One! A chill
Strikes through the sun upon the window-sill--
I know you now--I follow where you will,
O tyrant Death!'

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Poem Submitted: Monday, September 6, 2010

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