My Swan Song

By George Sterling

Has man the right
To die and disappear,
When he has lost the fight?
To sever without fear
The irksome bonds of life,
When he is tired of strife?
May he not seek, if it seems best,
Relief from grief? May he not rest
From labors vain, from hopeless task?
—I do not know; I merely ask.

Or must he carry on
The struggle, till it's done?
Will he be damned, if he,
World-weary, tired and ill,
Deprived of strength and will,
Decides he must be free?
Is punishment awaiting those,
Who quit, before the whistle blows,
Who leave behind unfinished task?
—I do not know; I merely ask.

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