Verse > Anthologies > Andrew Macphail, ed. > The Book of Sorrow
Andrew Macphail, comp.  The Book of Sorrow.  1916.
XI. O Come Quickly
To Death
By Caroline Bowles Southey (1786–1854)
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;        5
    Then willingly—oh! 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,        10
    So awfully, so terribly,
The weary soul would hardly care,
    Called quietly, called tenderly,
  From thy dread power to break?
’Tis not as when thou markest out        15
    The young, the blest, the gay,
The loved, the loving—they who dream
    So happily, so hopefully;
Then harsh thy kindest call may seem,
    And shrinkingly, reluctantly,        20
  The summoned may obey.
But I have drunk enough of life—
    The cup assigned to me
Dashed with a little sweet at best,
    So scantily, so scantily—        25
To know full well that all the rest,
    More bitterly, more bitterly,
  Drugged to the last will be.
And I may live to pain some heart
    That kindly cares for me—        30
To pain, but not to bless. O Death!
    Come quietly—come lovingly,
And shut mine eyes, and steal my breath;
    Then willingly—oh! willingly,
  With thee I’ll go away.        35

Shakespeare · Bible · Strunk · Anatomy · Nonfiction · Quotations · Reference · Fiction · Poetry
© 1993–2015 · [Top 150] · Subjects · Titles · Authors · World Lit.