Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, DEATH AND THE LADY; THEIR BARGAIN TOLD AGAIN, by LEONIE ADAMS

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

DEATH AND THE LADY; THEIR BARGAIN TOLD AGAIN, by                 Poet Analysis     Poet's Biography
First Line: Death to the lady said
Last Line: Death said to the lady.
Alternate Author Name(s): Troy, William, Mrs.
Subject(s): Death; Dead, The

Death to the Lady said
While she to dancing-measure still
Would move, while beauties on her lay,
Simply as dews the buds do fill,
Death said: "Stay!
Tell me Lady,
If in your breast the lively breath
May flicker for a little space,
What ransom will you give to death,
Lady?" he said.
"O not one joy, O not one grace,
And what is your will to my will?
I can outwit parched fancies still."
To Death said the lady.

Death to that lady said,
When blood went numb and wearily,
"In innocency dear breath you drew,
And marrow and bloom you rendered me,"
She said: "True"
"How now Lady?"
"My heart sucked up its sweet at will,
Whose scent when substance' sweet is past,
Is lovely still, is lovely still,
Death," she said.
"For bones' reprieve the dreams go last:
Soon, soon your flowery show did part,
But preciously I cull the heart,"
Death said to the Lady.

Death to that Lady said:
"Is then not all our bargain done?
Or why do you beckon me so fast
To chaffer for a skeleton
Flesh must cast,
Ghostly Lady?"
"For, Death, that I would have you drain
From my dead heart the blood that stands
So chilly in the withered vein.
And Death," she said,
"Give my due bones into your hands."
"Beauties I claim at morning-prime,
But the lack-lustre in good time."
Death said to the Lady.

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