Poems, now first collected/Mors Benefica


Give me to die unwitting of the day,
And stricken in Life's brave heat, with senses clear:
Not swathed and couched until the lines appear
Of Death's wan mask upon this withering clay,
But as that old man eloquent made way
From Earth, a nation's conclave hushed anear;
Or as the chief whose fates, that he may hear
The victory, one glorious moment stay.
Or, if not thus, then with no cry in vain,
No ministrant beside to ward and weep,
Hand upon helm I would my quittance gain
In some wild turmoil of the waters deep,
And sink content into a dreamless sleep
(Spared grave and shroud) below the ancient main.