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I who have lived my life,
My years of hot-blood roving, in the sun--
Now that my course is run,
Is it for me to die
Hemmed from the sapphire sky,
Scene of my joy and strife--
Die here--where the pale chilling blood can just
Stain my wan lips
As the soul slips
Into the darkness? Shall I die in bed,
Lost in the shadows of a dimming room,
Unutterably sordid? Give me dust
Sweeping across the barrens, choking down
The feeble death-gasp till the red stars reel
In a weird dirge-dance round my sinking head,
Rather than see through gloom
The specter-pallid nurse in white and gray,
The ice-nerved doctor with his black-browed frown,
Stealthily steal
To fend the last light of the dying day
With close-drawn blinds from my light-thirsty eyes--
Ye sunset skies!
I used to know your splendor! Let me die
Like any dog, but let it be away
Under the open sky!


Give me to die like a beast, afar, alone
With but the hawk and crow
To watch beside me while I cast my soul,
And but the sky to know
What my racked lips have uttered, what last groan,
Or curse or prayer, I breathed to heaven above--
And this the whole
Boon that I ask of you--to split in twain
With your wild night-winds, for the ancient love
I bore you, O ye Sunset-flames, the smother
That rides like some dire curse upon my chest,
And let me feel again
The blessed western breeze--my restless brother
On many an endless road--that knew me best
Of all the winds that sweep around the world.
--Give me to drown, in the dark, where, tempest-hurled,
The black ship wavers down through soundless sea;
Give me to die in a good fight, foul or fair,
With but a heart to stab, a throat to clutch,
And once again to see
That gay red haze of madness veil my sight--
To feel the hot breath and the blood-stiff hair--
I ask too much?
I am a beast, they say?
Then let me die,
By all the gods, just as a beast should die--
Out in the flaming sunset, far away
Under the open sky!