The Singer

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Nay! sing no more thy wild delusive strain(I heard them say, while I my song pursued),'Tis but the rage of thy delirious brain(I heard them say, yet still my song renewed);Nay! sing no more with reckless, idle breathOf man immortal and of life to come,For one brief moment scan the face of death,Then be thy foolish song for ever dumb;Behold the dusty ash that once was fire,And mark the summer leaf in autumn fall,Watch thou the wavering breath of man expire,And know that Death hath lordship over all(I heard them say with many a scornful word,Yet still sang on as one who nothing heard).

© William Gay