Alan Seeger. 1888–1916


"I Have a Rendezvous with Death"



I HAVE a rendezvous with Death


At some disputed barricade,


When Spring comes back with rustling shade


And apple-blossoms fill the air—


I have a rendezvous with Death


When Spring brings back blue days and fair.



It may be he shall take my hand


And lead me into his dark land


And close my eyes and quench my breath—


It may be I shall pass him still.


I have a rendezvous with Death


On some scarred slope of battered hill,


When Spring comes round again this year


And the first meadow-flowers appear.



God knows 'twere better to be deep


Pillowed in silk and scented down,


Where love throbs out in blissful sleep,


Pulse nigh to pulse, and breath to breath,


Where hushed awakenings are dear...


But I've a rendezvous with Death


At midnight in some flaming town,


When Spring trips north again this year,


And I to my pledged word am true,


I shall not fail that rendezvous.