Lady, lady, come with me,
I am thy true friend;
New and strange sights shalt thou see
If thine hand thou’lt lend.
Wo is me, what dost thou here?
Spectre foul, away!
No more let me those accents hear
Which fill me with dismay.
Thou shalt lie in my arms to-night;
My bed is narrow and cold;
When morning dawns there is no light,
For its curtains are made of mould.
Ah, me! ah, me! what’s that you say?
And what the bed you mean?
Ah! if I dream, God send it day,
And drive you from mine eyne!
Lady, lady, it must not be;
Look on me once again;
In different shapes you oft see me,
The friend of grief and pain.
Oh! sure I once have look’d on thee,
Thy vest is snowy white;
Tall is thy form, I did it see
By yonder pale moonlight.
The mortal lay in a silken bed
Of bright and gaudy hue,
On a pillow of down repos’d her head,
Bound with a fillet of blue.
The tall sprite now her bed drew near,
And stretch’d the curtains wide;
The mortal glanc’d in trembling fear,
But swift her face did hide.
For his robe of mist no more conceal’d
His skeleton form from view,
Each white rib was to sight reveal’d,
And his eyeless sockets too.
Tall and lank, and sadly gaunt,
His rueful form was seen,
His grisly ribs no flesh could vaunt,
Misty the space between.
Lady, fresh and fair there are,
Young and blooming too;
Fate, nor fresh nor young will spare,
Nor now can favour you.
Not in my prime? Oh! say not so;
Fair the morn will be,
Gaily rise when I am low,
The sun no more to see.
Hast thou not seen the sun, I pray,
Full many a time before?
Hast thou not curs’d the tardy day,
And wept till it was o’er?
Alas! I thought not what I said:
Oh, Death, in pity spare!
Let me not with thee be laid
While I am young and fair.
What hast thou known but care and sorrow?
Thy lovers faithless all?
And if I spare thee till to-morrow
Some horrid ill may fall.
‘Tis true no peace I’ve ever known,
My days have pass’d in woe
I trust, since those in grief have gone,
The rest will not thus go.
Deceitful hope! to-morrow’s dawn
A dire mishap shall bring;
From my dim shades I come to warn-
Thy friend as well as King.
Ah, yet awhile, ah, yet awhile,
This ill I do not fear;
By care I may its course beguile,
But why com’st thou so near?
Mortal wretched, mortal vain!
Child of weakest woe!
Sickness, sorrow, tears, and pain
Are all you e’er can know.
Say, what in life is there to lure
Thy agitated mind?
Trifling, futile, vain, unsure-
Oh, wherefore art thou blind?
Thou dost not live e’en half thy day,
For part is spent in tears;
In sleep how much is worn away!
How much in hopes and fears!
In doubt you move, in doubt you live,
Surrounded by a cloud;
Nor up can pierce, nor downward dive,
And yet of life are proud.
Danger, danger lurks around,
False is the smile of man;
Unsteady is the sinking ground,
Delusions croud thy span.
Is there a bliss you e’er can feel
Your million woes to pay?
Is there a day which fails to steal
Some transient joy away?
Is there a beam, which gilds thy morn
With radiance falsely bright,
That sinks not in the evening storm
Which crushes thee ere night?
Life is a bitter, bitter hour,
A bleak, a dreary wild,
Where blooms no shrub, where blows no flow’r
For nature’s wretched child.
If from the grave to look on life
With retrospective eye
We sad could view its noisy strife,
Who would not wish to die?
A fev’rish dream, a bubble frail,
Borne on inconstant air.
The bubble bursts-there’s none bewail,
For thousands still are there!
No trace remains-the world goes on
As tho’ thou ne’er hadst been;
Thou griev’st to die, others grieve none,
Nor miss thee from the scene.
A speck in nature’s vast profound,
Unknown thy life or birth-
Giddily flying in the round,
Then add a grain to earth.
Mortal wretched, mortal vain,
Longer wilt thou stay?
Longer wilt thou suffer pain,
Or cheat the coming day?
And then the spectre heav’d a sigh,
A sigh both long and deep,
In mist his changeful form drew nigh,
And he saw the mortal weep.
Then far, far off ’twas seen to glide,
Shrouded in vapours blue;
Small, small it seem’d, but did not hide,
Then gradual rose to view.
With dazzling light the chamber shone,
And tall the sprite appear’d,
And when the solemn bell toll’d one,
The lady no longer fear’d.
“”Come quit thy bed, fair lady, I say,
For mine, which is narrow and cold;
When morning dawns there is no day,
For its curtains are made of mould.
“”But I’ll give thee a robe of vapors blue,
Nor laces nor silks have I;
I’ll gem thy brows with a fillet of dew,
Which lasts but while you die.
“”And I’ll give you to her from whom you came,
Your bed shall be peaceful and lone;
Your mother’s cold arms will embrace you again,
And your covering shall be stone.
“”There no more griefs shall ever you know,
Nor day nor night shall you see;
Secure in your narrow bed below,
Companion true to me.””
“”God pardon me,”” the lady cried,
“”And receive me to thy feet,
And all that pure and holy died,
Oh! grant that I may meet.””
Then rising from her silken bed,
She gave her hand to Death;
His touch’d, benumb’d, her soul with dread,
And stopp’d her rising breath.
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Based on Keywords: rish, fev, repos, agitated, retrospective, glanc, giddily, remains-the