English poetry

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Death and the Maiden

BARCAROLE ON THE STYX

Fair youth with the rose at your lips,
A riddle is hid in your eyes;
Discard conversational quips,
Give over elaborate disguise.

The rose’s funeral breath
Confirms by intuitive fears;
To prove your devotion, Sir Death,
Avaunt for a dozen of years.

But do not forget to array
Your terror in juvenile charms;
I shall deeply regret my delay
If I sleep in a skeleton’s arms.


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Poem Death and the Maiden - Elinor Wylie