My sleep unspooled from ragged eyes
The spider stitches waking night
A spectral web of silent fire
I twist alive but firm I died.
An unsure shade beset by gods
They flicker the verge of vision
I beg of Death, his portent lost
One score and ten, if not now– when?
The sleepless wolf at my arm's length
He slavers at my mortal stink
But is it life or death I feign
When I haunt this fleshly frame?
I am sure-made, base but divine
Our hearts beat or quit unbidden
The hero trembles not at Time
One score and ten, fates yet written.
The sleep-sick fool I here unbind
And stifle my own fearful lies
With simple wit and agile mind:
Until I die I am alive.