Menken, Adah Isaacs
YES, yes, dear love! I am dead!
Dead to you!
Dead to the world!
Dead for ever!
It was one young night in May.
The stars were strangled, and the moon was blind with the
flying clouds of a black despair.
Years and years the songless soul waited to drift out
beyond the sea of pain where the shapeless life was
The red mouth closed down the breath that was hard
The mad pulse beat back the baffled life with a low
And so the stark and naked soul unfolded its wings to
the dimness of Death!
A lonely, unknown Death.
A Death that left this dumb, living body as his endless
And left these golden billows of hair to drown the
whiteness of my bosom.
Left these crimson roses gleaming on my forehead to
hide the dust of the grave.
And Death left an old light in my eyes, and old music
for my tongue, to deceive the crawling worms that would
seek my warm flesh.
But the purple wine that I quaff sends no thrill of Love
and Song through my empty veins.
Yet my red lips are not pallid and horrified.
Thy kisses are doubtless sweet that throb out an eternal
passion for me!
But I feel neither pleasure, passion nor pain.
So I am certainly dead.
Dead in this beauty!
Dead in this velvet and lace!
Dead in these jewels of light!
Dead in the music!
Dead in the dance!