Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Devil His Due

by Steve King
© 2005
All rights reserved

The seasons of death have come and gone
And yet will come again, and go again.
And so will death itself live on and on,
replenished by our dying.

         * * * * * * * *

"Make a pretty song for me,"
said that other voice I hear,
"fit to move a mourning throng,
somber as they gather near.

"Harvest nightshade with your words
and spin it into brightest wreathes;
draw fine colors from despair
and paint them on a winding sheet.

"Stand bold reason on its head
and sing of tales to raise the dead;
find in silence things unsaid,
and conjure hopes to cure their dread.

"Your piecework suits me for the wage
to let you linger through your age;
for even Death, that labors long,
enjoys his labor with a song.

"Do these pretty chores for me
in gentle toil of sympathy;
a joyless duty, you will say,
though you would do it, anyway;

"And I will seek for other kin,
those without rhymes, or airs to spin,
and leave you safely with your muse,
to succor me, it's yours to choose..."

And so I dip the poison pen,
to sing so Death may dance again,
songs I never dare to end,
while he another does befriend.