La Mort Sans Pitié

Print

La Mort Sans Pitié

by: Ernest Rhys (Author)
from: The Leaf Burners and Other Poems (Pp. 110 - 112)  1918

Dagonet
WHO is the Black Knight there
That enters at the door?

Morgause
There is no Black Knight there--
The sun throws on the floor
A shadow: nothing more.

Dagonet
Who is the tall Black Knight
That stands within the door?

Morgause
Give me thy fevered hand,
While now I breathe a prayer
To send the shade away.
Salve nos, Domine.
                                                (Enter La Morte Sans Pitié.)

Dagonet
Black crow, art thou come
For Dagonet's wit?
It is quick as the light
Or the dragon-fly's dart:
It is born in a smile,
It is bred in the heart,
It is light, it is laughter:
It took life when Eve laughed
At the lion-cub's play,
It slept then awhile
When her sorrow came after
With the son of the snake:
Eve's joy was my mother,
Not Eve's sorrow,
And the bird is my brother
That sings as he may.
In the close of my day
Lies curl'd-up the morrow,
Like the fox in his bed.
And my wit, if I die,
Yet shall wake and shall fly,
Take music and live
When Dagonet's dead.

Morgause (rising)
What cold shape have you seen,
Dagonet, that your eyes
Are so wild and so strange?

Dagonet
I have seen the cold face,
I have seen the black wing
Of the King of the crows,
Even Death!