Shadow

by John William Streets


O why should Youth, whose symbol is the lark
That mounts with new-born dreams unto the sky,
Be doomed at frequent intervals to lie
Voiceless and dreamless, prostrate in the dark?
Why, ’mid the laughter of the carnival,
The feast of roses sensuous with delight,
Why should there break the terror of a call —
Death calling Youth into the unknown night?
For thus at morn the twilight-footed Death
Sweeps from the zenith to the orient rim
Where Youth doth play ; and soon his phantom wreath
Fadeth like beauty into distance dim:
Fadeth like yon rich sunset in the sky
That seems sad and tenderly to die!