O King of Terrours, whose unbounded sway
Title: To Death
Primary Texts: MS's: F-H 283 (in series of personal poems), 5-6*; Folger, 208 (as last of 13 religious poems); Portland XIX, 212 (as one of 4 religious poems).
O king of Terrours, whose unbounded sway
All that have life, must certainly Obey.
The King, the Priest, the Prophet, all are thine;
Nor wou'd ev'n God, (in Flesh) thy stroke decline.
My name is on thy Role, and sure I must,
Encrease thy gloomy Kingdoms, in the Dust.
My soul at this, no apprehension feels,
But trembles at thy swords, thy Racks, thy wheels,
And Scortching Feavours, which distract the sence,
And Snatch us raving, unprepar'd from hence.
At thy contagious darts, that wound the heads
Of weeping friends, that wait at dyeing beds.
Spare these, and lett thy time be when it will.
My buisnesse is to dye, and thine to kill
Gently, thy fatal Sceptre on me Lay,
And take to thy cold arms, insensibly thy Prey.
(MS F-H 283 5-6)
Secondary Eds: 1713 Misc, 122; rpt of 1713: 1903 Reynolds, 270 ("accidentally misplaced" she says in an added note at bottom of page, e.g., she had meant to put make it the last in her series of religious poems, as in the Folger); rpts of 1903 Reynolds: 1928 Murray, 27 (as a personal poem, 4th in the book), 1930 Fausset, 117- 8 (placed "mistakenly" as in Reynolds); 1979 Rogers AF, 144 ("corrects" Reynolds's "error" and places it after the one other "religious" poem in this volume); 1987 Thompson, 28-9 (according to Cameron's chronology, so a phase or mood, de-emphasized in a sense).
18C: 1701 Gilden, 87.
20C: Rpt of 1713/1903: 1905 Wordsworth (compiled 1819), 32 (changes "Bus'ness" to "office," softening poem somewhat); 1927 Squire, 200.
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Page Last Updated 7 January 2003