Death’s Calling Card

A Verse in Spenserian Stanza:

In a Spenserian Stanza each verse contains nine lines in total: eight lines in iambic pentameter followed by a single ‘alexandrine’ line in iambic hexameter. The rhyme scheme of these lines is “ababbcbcc.”  Somewhat morbid, but my own composition in this form is offered below . . . 



Burne-Jones – ‘Merlin & Nimue’ – detail

Death’s Calling Card

In summer time when light is long to last
And evening stretches far into the night,
Then I am wont to think of times gone past
When life was dear and death was out of sight;
But autumn has arrived and dimmed the light,
That short time left to me now presses hard;
Have I done all the planning that I might,
Allowed myself my faults to disregard,
Updated my résumé, my next life’s calling card?



The End Of The Line


Burne-Jones … ‘The Beguiling of Merlin – detail

The End Of The Line

I would say that this is it now
As far as we can go

There never was a future in our love.
I needed you so deeply; it was not the same for you;
With half a heart did you your love bestow.

When I reach out to hold you
Do you welcome my advance?
Do you give to me a sign you understand
How much I need your presence to accept me as I am?
Oh, no! You judge me with that withering glance?

When I say I want you
Do you offer up to me
Your honest love and deepest feelings too?
No, you falter once again in opening up your heart
You hesitate, and claim you must be free?

So with all our quarrels over
Instead of settling down
To that ever loving state that we once shared
We will never have a future when there is no give and take
It’s not worth it just for your enduring frown.


‘The Beguiling Of Merlin’ by Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones … painted 1872-1877 … now in the Lady Lever At Gallery, Liverpool.  The scene is from Arthurian legend, depicting the infatuation of Merlin with  Nimue, the Lady of the Lake.