Death, I will personify you.
As my actor, you would have some coy name,
Foreign but with a strange sense of familiarity.
Stuck between prime and retirement,
You’ve red hair which oft looks gray.
What is your favorite social sphere?
Were you here, I would ask you the same,
Seeking to sense the depth of your vanity.

What kind of purgatory you must be in!
Is there any hope of your release
Or are you doomed to deal eternally
In that most precious currency
Which we call life?
Perhaps you get on smashingly,
Longing not for the restfulness of peace,
While reveling in the stolen goods of sin.

Perchance it’s not from middle earth you come,
But from the skies above or earth beneath.
The former would render you a herald of God
And the latter an envoy of the Devil –
Or is it possible you are employed by both?
Do you have the brazen to negotiate when
Unfair seems the victim of your career,
Whether by too young an age or in golden year?

So much I wonder, so little understand of you.
Is your head held high or does it jilt as awkward
As these words here writ? Do you ever smile
Upon an old man’s weathered face
Or weep when bidden to a child’s abode?

Methinks you are not my actor, but I yours
In a play to which I have no script.
When or where or how I will walk upon
Your stage of doom or delight I do not know.

So conquer on, friend and foe,
Neither with comfort nor fear
I will watch for you, learn you,
And without regret, greet you
When you deign to be my guest.