To Teddy;Death was a scolding elder
Who spanked his tiny, jam-stained fingers,
Snatched away his toys,
Pulled down the shades
And sentenced him to bed
Before his day began.
Death came to Joe as Peace
Before the battle,
A stilling of the call to arms;
Yet as a fatal stab
Deep in the back
As he set forth to climb the distant hill.
Death was an odious escort
She kept him waiting in the parlour
As long as possible.
That night she drank and laughed and danced too much
And, as she feared,
He kissed her' when he brought her home.
Death was a welcome bed-fellow,
A long-awaited mate,
Who eased into her bed
At the close of a weary day,
Rubbed her aching back
And led her into sleep.