Cordula's Web. An empty road.
An empty road. Copyright © 2004 Cordula's Web. Gallery 21

Written In Health

Caroline Clive

Forbid, oh Fate! forbid that I
Should linger long before I die!
Ah, let me not sad day by day
Upon a dying bed decay,

And learn to strain my lonely ear
To catch a footstep drawing near;
And oft my fainting eye-lid raise,
To see the friend who still delays.

Let me not hear the world pass by,
In all its splendour, love and pride;
While I have nothing but to die,
Whate'er my fellow-men betide.

Nor let me come by sad degrees
To feel each nobler feeling freeze;
And lose my love, my hope, my strength,
All save the baser part of man;

Concentring every wish, at length,
To die as slowly as I can.
Oh no! I wish, I hope, I pray
A better ending to my day.

I fain would mount some headlong steed,
And gallop o'er the cliff at speed;
Fall down a thousand fathoms there,
And leave my life mid-way in air.

I fain would meet in victory
A winged ball aim'd full at me;
Shout, as it came, my wild war-cry,
And 'ere the sound was ended, die.

I'd drink a deep delicious wine,
With hasty poison mix'd therein;
And with the sweetness on my breath,
Die, ere I felt that it was death.

I'd die in battle, love, or glee,
With spirit wild, and body free,
With all my wit, my soul, my heart,
Burning away in every part,

That so more meetly I might fly
Into mine immortality;
Like comets when their race is run,
That end by rushing on the sun.

Home :: Poetry :: Apologia (2) :: Written In Health