|By Iain Muir
|At the end of everything, she waits,
Her long dark hair spun shadow,
Her sparkling eyes the dark twin gates
Through which we pass, to where I don’t know.
She is an end to strife, an end to pain,
An end to woe, an end to caring,
An end to sorrow’s grey domain,
An end to troubles beyond sharing.
She is the Soldier’s final friend,
The last, sweet nurse whose touch brings healing.
She is the last, long rest at journey’s end,
Whose cold embrace dulls the fires of feeling.
I see her, at the edge of dreams.
She smiles, and sometimes waves hello.
In the midst of all my struggles, all my schemes,
I take comfort that she’s there. I know.
The poison cup before me sits.
I gaze on it, think of her face,
Of her pale, pale skin and her crimson lips.
I’ve but to take a sip, and ... ‘requiescat in pace’.
But then I think, "What will I miss,
If over-eager I run to her embrace?
What other lips might I not kiss?
What delight take in some other pretty face?
There are things yet I have not seen,
Deeds left undone, and friends unmet.
There are many places I’ve not been.
No. I’ll not go to meet her yet.
Someday, mayhap, when I grow weary
Of struggle, and hardship, and can find no joy,
I’ll take up that cup, and seek out my dearie,
And she will smile, and welcome home her boy.
For Death is patient, Death is kind,
She knows the hour and the place I’ll meet her.
I’d as soon she caught me from behind.
I’m in no hurry now to greet her.