Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, BLACK DEATH, by HARRY HIBBARD KEMP



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BLACK DEATH, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: He gave her neither rest nor peace
Last Line: "the grave knows neither low nor high!"
Subject(s): Class Struggle; Death; Fairy Tales; Love; Dead, The


HE gave her neither rest nor peace
Until his lips drew her sweet breath,—
But while she drooped against his breast
A Third stood at their side, Black Death.

And when the lover went his way,
Invisible and hollow-eyed
Into his castle followed him
That Shape, and brought to naught his pride.

The castle lights shone pale and dim.
They bore the lover on his bier—
The peasant maiden kissed his eyes
And the Black Angel followed her.

The Lord sent down a Form of Light
To ask Death why he smote unbid. ...
Death answered the eight-winged messenger,
His face in his black mantle hid—

"True love bound prince and peasant maid;
Yet Rank forbade the marriage-tie ...
But now they can be happy both:
The Grave knows neither Low nor High!"





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