I know thou lurkest somewhere down the way,
Specter, whom all men seek though all men dread;
In some safe nook beside the path I tread__
Thou sittest, grim, and day by weary day,
When shadows' lengthen, "Surely," thou dost say,
"He comes at eve;", at eve, unvisited,
"To-night he comes;" and when the night is fled,
"And yet he comes, nor will he long delay."
Yea, Death, I come. But thou shalt not affright
"The forward fall of my unfaltering feet,
Nor flutter the even coming of my breath.
Not at the last as strangers shall we meet;
On hopeless ways, no helpful star in sight,
I have already faced and proved thee, Death.
NOT for thy outward charms of form and face,
Careful to leave no feature unexpressed,
As if for beauty's sake we loved thee best,
We bring thee praise; nor for thy pride of race,
Nor for thy wealth that waxeth great apace;
Nor will we vaunt, with low and swinish zest,
The milky richness of thy mother-breast,
Like unweaned babes that know no higher grace.