From the recording The Elegiac Repose

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