The Sting of Death

`Is Sin, then, fair?’
Nay, love, come now,
Put back the hair
From his sunny brow;
See, here, blood-red
Across his head
A brand is set,
The word — `Regret.’

`Is Sin so fleet
That while he stays,
Our hands and feet
May go his ways?’
Nay, love, his breath
Clings round like death,
He slakes desire
With liquid fire.

`Is Sin Death’s sting?’
Ay, sure he is,
His golden wing
Darkens man’s bliss;
And when Death comes,
Sin sits and hums
A chaunt of fears
Into man’s ears.

`How slayeth Sin?’
First, God is hid,
And the heart within
By its own self chid;
Then the maddened brain
Is scourged by pain
To sin as before
And more and more,
For evermore.

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