WHAT time the mighty moon was gathering light
Love paced the thymy plots of Paradise,
And all about him roll’d his lustrous eyes;
When, turning round a cassia, full in view,
Death, walking all alone beneath a yew,
And talking to himself, first met his sight.
‘You must begone,’ said Death, ‘these walks are mine.’
Love wept and spread his sheeny vans for flight;
Yet ere he parted said, ‘This hour is thine:
Thou art the shadow of life, and as the tree
Stands in the sun and shadows all beneath,
So in the light of great eternity
Life eminent creates the shade of death.
The shadow passeth when the tree shall fall,
But I shall reign for ever over all.’