Henry Kirke White

To Consumption

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Gently, most gently on thy victim's head,
Consumption, lay thine hand! Let me decay
Like the expiring lamp, unseen, away,
And softly go to slumber with the dead!
And if it is true what holy men have said
That strains angelic oft foretell the day
Of death to those good men who fall thy prey,
O let the aƫrial music round my bed,
Dissolving slow in dying symphony,
Whisper the solemn warnings to my ear:
That I may bid my weeping friends good-bye
Ere I depart upon my journey drear;
And, smiling faintly on the painful past,
Compose my decent head and breathe my last.

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Henry Kirke White