Let My Love a Martyr Be
Let my Love a martyr be.
Tho' She must die, yet let Her suffer
Swiftly Her ignominy.
If Love must then be snatched from me,
Thrash Her 'pon the stagger'd rocks,
Her doom, to shatter instantly,
Not to drown in placid waters
Chok'd by the deceptive sleep.
Oh! I may smile and be content
If ends be quick and quickly rent,
Or ardent, bright, and brilliant-wrought –
That Love be lost, but not forgot.
But Love, I fear Thy last demise
Shall softly swoop in grim attire,
In noiseless dark and secrecy.
Thou'll never boast of starréd skies
To hail Thee at Thy final hour!
Nay, Love, when come the dying days,
Thy bearers shall unlearn Thy art
And dooméd men forsake Thy ways.
Whence this awful, ghastly price?
Was Death too bleak to bravely win
Or Life too sweet to sacrifice
For Love, snow-white and free from sin?
Yet ours is not to die for Thee,
Dear Love, but is to watch instead
As Thou are slowly crucified –
To gaze upon Thy sacred head.
So I pray to God and Fate:
Grant not Love a silent Death!
Leave Her desp'rate, bold and proud!
Meet Her at the final breath!
For Death and Time are twain and sure
And silence is their last domain.
But Love, thy Death-cry, sweet and pure,
May pierce and vanquish e'en their reign...