Verse > Anthologies > Andrew Macphail, ed. > The Book of Sorrow
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Andrew Macphail, comp.  The Book of Sorrow.  1916.
 
VII. The Tyrant
Coelia’s Speech, in the Tragedy of Croesus
By William Alexander, Earl of Stirling (1567?–1640)
 
FIERCE tyrant, Death, who in thy wrath didst take
  One half of me, and left one half behind:
Take this to thee, or give me th’other back,
  Be wholly cruel, or be no way kind!
 
But whilst I live, believe, thou canst not die—        5
  O! even in spite of Death, yet still my choice!
Oft, with the inward all-beholding eye
  I think I see thee, and I hear thy voice;
 
And to content my languishing desire,
  To ease my mind, each thing some help affords;        10
Thy fancied form doth oft such faith acquire,
  That in all sounds I apprehend thy words.
 
Then, with such thoughts my memory to wound,
  I call to mind thy looks, thy words, thy grace—
Where thou didst haunt, yet I adore the ground,        15
  And where thou stept—O sacred seems that place!
 
My solitary walks, my widow’d bed,
  My dreary sighs, my sheets oft bath’d with tears,
These shall record what life by me is led
  Since first sad news breath’d death into mine ears.        20
 
Though for more pain yet spar’d a space by death,
  Thee first I lov’d, with thee all love I leave;
For my chaste flames, which quench’d were with thy breath,
  Can kindle now no more but in thy grave!…
 
 
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