Death and the Maiden

12:41
Valentine Wolfe
2017
Valentine Wolfe

Lyrics

Death and the Maiden 

This story begins with your funeral 
Wreaths and mourning ribbons 
Bedeck the coal black horses 
The cortege rides in silence 

Until the gray fog descended 
Not a sound was heard 
Nor did a whisper shatter 
The stillness of your shroud 

And then the strains were felt loud 
A mournful plaintive chant 
Choirs like ravens fighting 
Scratching upon mine ear 

A maiden wept at your funeral 
A maiden beheld by Death 
Her tears of grief sweet perfection 
Death marked her for his own 

Years burned away as pages thrown to flame 
Each bitter season bringing fresh defeat 
The maiden diminished every hour 
Death marked her for his own 

Alone and scribbling at his desk 
Asylum walls have locked him in 
In his dreamworld he is free 
He bends his mind back to the page 

The sacred page 

Wilt thou go with me, sweet maid, 
Say, maiden, wilt thou go with me 
Through the valley-depths of shade, 
Of night and dark obscurity; 
Where the path has lost its way, 
Where the sun forgets the day, 
Where there's nor life nor light to see, 
Sweet maiden, wilt thou go with me! 

Maiden wilt thou go…? 

Where stones will turn to flooding streams, 
Where plains will rise like ocean waves, 
Where life will fade like visioned dreams 
And mountains darken into caves, 
Say, maiden, wilt thou go with me 
Through this sad non-identity, 
Where parents live and are forgot, 
And sisters live and know us not! 

Maiden wilt thou go…? 

Say, maiden; wilt thou go with me 
In this strange death of life to be, 
To live in death and be the same, 
Without this life or home or name, 
At once to be and not to be - 
That was and is not -yet to see 
Things pass like shadows, and the sky 
Above, below, around us lie? 

Entreaties have stopped up his tongue 
A tremor at the sight of her 
One last glimpse, his final wish 
Alone at last now he can die 

White becomes her 
Pale laces flutter 
Vestments chosen to endure 
Craven kisses 
Torn from her red lips 
Hotter than a thousand stars 

Death will come for you, maiden 
Faster than a raven’s wing 
Sadder than a lover’s lie 
And when it comes, it will last forever 

Gather your rosebuds 
Hide from the light 
There is not safety within these shadows 
Ave Maria 

So she prayed the maiden’s prayer 
But no answer did she receive 
No surcease for her sufferings 
As the nights grew colder 

The stars shone ever dimmer 
Her prayers grew choked on her lips 
They turned to roses in her mouth 
She learned to savor the taste 

So bitter yet beautiful 
Black night opening to her 
She reveled in the mystery 
She could taste the velvet promise 

The maiden grew more lovely 
Eyes wide open to the dark 
Now trusting in the knowledge 
The shadows draped around her 

Say, maiden; wilt thou go with me 
In this strange death of life to be, 
To live in death and be the same, 
Without this life or home or name, 
At once to be and not to be - 
That was and is not -yet to see 
Things pass like shadows, and the sky 
Above, below, around us lie? 

Maiden wilt thou go….? 

The maiden and Death intertwined at last 
Forever to lie as one 
Breathing in the other life 
Within your silken coffin 

Years burn away as pages turn to flame 
Stories changing before they can be told 
Will you who have ears listen to my tale? 
Will you unlock these mysteries? 

This story ends with your funeral 
Wreaths and mourning ribbons 
Bedeck the coal black horses 
The cortege departs in silence

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