To Death

Author: William Cullen Bryant  | Date: 1815



Oh, thou whom the world dreadeth! Art thou nigh,

To thy pale kingdom, Death, to summon me?

While life’s scarce-tasted cup yet charms my eye,

And yet my youthful blood is dancing free

And fair in prospect smiles futurity.

Go, to the crazed with care thy quiet bring;

Go to the galley-slave who pines for thee;

Go to the wretch whom throes of torture wring,

And they will bless thy hand, that plucks the fiery sting.

I from thine icy touch with horror shrink,

That leads me to the place where all must lie;

And bitter is my misery to think

That in the springtime of my being, I

Must leave this pleasant land, and this fair sky;

All this hath charmed me from my feeble birth;

The friends I love, and every gentle tie;

All that disposed to thought, or waked to mirth;

And lay me darkly down, and mix with the dull earth.

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Chicago: William Cullen Bryant, To Death Original Sources, accessed April 22, 2024,

MLA: Bryant, William Cullen. To Death, Original Sources. 22 Apr. 2024.

Harvard: Bryant, WC, To Death. Original Sources, retrieved 22 April 2024, from