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Poem by Caroline Anne Southey

To Death

Come not in terrors clad, to claim
   An unresisting prey:
Come like an evening shadow, Death!
So stealthily, so silently!
And shut mine eyes, and steal my breath;
Then willingly, O willingly,
   With thee I'll go away!

What need to clutch with iron grasp
   What gentlest touch may take?
What need with aspect dark to scare,
So awfully, so terribly,
The weary soul would hardly care,
Call'd quietly, call'd tenderly,
   From thy dread power to break?

'Tis not as when thou markest out
   The young, the blest, the gay,
The loved, the lovingthey who dream
So happily, so hopefully;
Then harsh thy kindest call may seem,
And shrinkingly, reluctantly,
   The summon'd may obey.

But I have drunk enough of life
   The cup assign'd to me
Dash'd with a little sweet at best,
So scantily, so scantily
To know full well that all the rest
More bitterly, more bitterly,
   Drugg'd to the last will be.

And I may live to pain some heart
   That kindly cares for me:
To pain, but not to bless. O Death!
Come quietlycome lovingly
And shut mine eyes, and steal my breath;
Then willingly, O willingly,
   I'll go away with thee!

Caroline Anne Southey

Caroline Anne Southey's other poems:
  1. The Mariner's Hymn
  2. Gracious Rain
  3. The Christian Pauper's Death-Bed
  4. I Weep, But Not Rebellious Tears
  5. The Little Ladybird

Poems of the other poets with the same name:

  • Percy Shelley To Death ("Death! where is thy victory?")
  • Amy Levy To Death ("If within my heart there's mould")

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