Verse > Anthologies > Harriet Monroe, ed. > The New Poetry: An Anthology
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Harriet Monroe, ed. (1860–1936).  The New Poetry: An Anthology.  1917.
 
42. To Celia
 
II. During a Chorale by Cesar Franck
 
By Witter Bynner
 
 
IN an old chamber softly lit
  We heard the Chorale played,
And where you sat, an exquisite
Image of Life and lover of it,
  Death sang a serenade.        5
 
I know now, Celia, what you heard,
  And why you turned and smiled.
It was the white wings of a bird
Offering flight, and you were stirred
  Like an adventurous child.        10
 
Death sang: “Oh, lie upon your bier,
  Uplift your countenance!”
Death bade me be your cavalier,
Called me to march and shed no tear,
  But sing to you and dance.        15
 
And when you followed, lured and led
  By those mysterious wings,
And when I heard that you were dead,
I could not weep. I sang instead,
  As a true lover sings.
.    .    .    .    .    .
        20
 
Today a room is softly lit;
  I hear the Chorale played.
And where you come, an exquisite
Image of Death and lover of it,
  Life sings a serenade.        25
 

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