“I Have a Rendezvous with Death” by Alan Seeger


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.