tagNon-Erotic PoetryDeath and the Maiden

Death and the Maiden

bydemure101©

Thought never quickly pleased, one day Death saw
a maiden pass, so absolutely fair
that his old bones were warmed by sudden thaw
and so he wondered how to lay a snare

to trap her and to keep her by his side
to warm her to him, friendly, or by force,
make her submit to him and be his bride
and filled with lust he mounted his dark horse

and rode to where the snakes dwell. Fall of night
saw Death alight and enter that grim dell
that is forbidden to mere mortals' sight
and well-protected by the King snake's spell.

But even he has Death's grim dues to pay
and so he granted Death's uncouth request -
and, grinning, death went back to Lady Day
who, in her garden, slept in blissful rest

where he unleashed the serpent he had brought.
Unerringly the viper found its aim
but never did it bring the joys Death sought
and he alone now lives to rue his game.

She died, of course, and all the world grew dark
and bitter cold came down upon the land:
halfway its joyous flight down dropped the lark
and frozen stiff the laughing waters stand

still trapped where they cascaded down that hour.
And Death, although he could no longer see
must fetch all souls that died, his lady's bower
no paradise for him. His treachery

did not appease his lust; his heart still burnt
for that fair form he'd falsely put away
in heartless selfishness while she but turned
a beautiful cold shoulder where she lay.

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