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Short poem

Alan Seeger (1888-1916)

I have a Rendezvous with Death

              1I have a rendezvous with Death
              2At some disputed barricade,
              3When Spring comes back with rustling shade
              4And apple-blossoms fill the air --
              5I have a rendezvous with Death
              6When Spring brings back blue days and fair.

              7It may be he shall take my hand
              8And lead me into his dark land
              9And close my eyes and quench my breath --
            10It may be I shall pass him still.
            11I have a rendezvous with Death
            12On some scarred slope of battered hill,
            13When Spring comes round again this year
            14And the first meadow-flowers appear.

            15God knows 'twere better to be deep
            16Pillowed in silk and scented down,
            17Where Love throbs out in blissful sleep,
            18Pulse nigh to pulse, and breath to breath,
            19Where hushed awakenings are dear ...
            20But I've a rendezvous with Death
            21At midnight in some flaming town,
            22When Spring trips north again this year,
            23And I to my pledged word am true,
            24I shall not fail that rendezvous.

Online text copyright © 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.

Original text: Alan Seeger, Poems, introduction by William Archer (London: Constable, 1919), p. 144. PS 3537 E26 1917 ROBA.
First publication date: 1916
RPO poem editor: Ian Lancashire
RP edition: RPO 1998.
Recent editing: 2:2002/3/21

Rhyme: abbcac ddaeaeff ghgafahfii

Other poems by Alan Seeger