To One Self-Slain

By George Sterling

The door thou chosest, gave it on the night?
    Ever we ask of whoso openeth
    If day or darkness hold the seats of Death;
But if the heavy-lidded dead have sight
Their mouths are loyal to that alien light:
    Amid the Innumerable no one saith
    What waited on the passing of the breath—
Spend not your own: the grave will not requite.

Phantoms and whispers reach us from the dark—
    Mirages vain, mendacities august
        That are but of the living, not the dead.
Nay! though I hunger, I in no wise hark
    The fleeting music scattered with thy dust,
        Nor call thy shadow from the House of Dread.

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