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ADDRESS OF DEATH TO TOMAS DE ROISTE, by                     Poet's Biography
First Line: I am the death who am come to you

I AM the Death who am come to you,
Adam I smote and Eve I slew;
All have died or shall die by me
Who have been or who shall be,
Until the meeting on that great hill,
Where the world must gather - for good, for ill,
And judgment will fall upon every one
For the things he has thought and things he has done.
I am active as the mind,
And swifter than the rush of wind
That lifts the sea-gull of the lake,
And faster than goat in a mountain brake,
Swifter than the sounding tide,
Or the plunge of the bark with its long black side
That furrows the wave when the cold sea wind
Rings in its whistling sails behind.
Swifter am I than the bird on the bough
Or the fish with the current that darts below;
Swifter than the heavens high,
Or the cold clear moon in the star-bright sky,
Or the grey gull o'er the water,
Or the eagle that stoops when it scents the slaughter.
I am swifter than the pour
Of heavy waves on ocean shore,
Swifter than the doubling race
Of the timid hare with the hounds in chase.
I mount upon the back of kings
Standing by their pleasant things,
By the banqueting-board where the lamps are bright,
Or the lonely couch in the lonely night -
I am a messenger tried and true;
Wherever they travel, I travel too.
From the land of the End I have tidings wan -
I love no woman, I like no man,
Nor high, nor low, nor young, nor old:
I snatch the child from its mother's fold,
I tear the strong man from his wife,
And I come to the nurse for the infant's life;
I take from the month-old child the father,
The widow's son to myself I gather,
With her who was married yesternight,
And the wretch that wails for his doleful plight;
I seize the hero of mighty deed,
And pull the rider from off his steed,
The messenger going his rapid road,
And the lord of the house from his proud abode,
And the poor man gleaning his pittance of corn,
And the white-necked maiden nobly born,
And the withered woman old and bare,
And the handsome youth so strong and fair,
From the hunt or the dance or the feast I bear.

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