‘I Have a Rendezvous with Death’ by Alan Seeger

I Have a Rendezvous with Death

Alan Seeger

I have a rendezvous with Death
At some disputed barricade,
When Spring comes back with rustling shade
And apple-blossoms fill the air—
I have a rendezvous with Death
When Spring brings back blue days and fair.

It may be he shall take my hand
And lead me into his dark land
And close my eyes and quench my breath—
It may be I shall pass him still.
I have a rendezvous with Death
On some scarred slope of battered hill,
When Spring comes round again this year
And the first meadow-flowers appear.

God knows ’twere better to be deep
Pillowed in silk and scented down,
Where Love throbs out in blissful sleep,
Pulse nigh to pulse, and breath to breath,
Where hushed awakenings are dear …
But I’ve a rendezvous with Death
At midnight in some flaming town,
When Spring trips north again this year,
And I to my pledged word am true,
I shall not fail that rendezvous.

alan seeger
Alan Seeger. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

Alan Seeger (1888 – 1916) was an American war poet that fought in the Foreign Legion of the French Army in WWI but was eventually killed during the Battle of the Somme in 1916. As reported by The New York Times, Seeger’s most famous poem, A Rendezvous with Death, was beloved by the former President of the United States, John F. Kennedy.