The following poem, Death of Death, was written at age 16 as well.

He stared into the mirror now

Too old for vanity

Twas age that he was scowling at

And Death, his destiny.

It shall not be so! he cried aloud

I cannot—must not—die!

Yet still, reflected age was there.

He turned away with a sigh.

I was born to death, he mused again

Each day it takes new hold.

But when it comes for final grip

The story shall be told:

He wrestled Death! They fought and fought

From night ’til dewy morn

Until with Death’s own sickle sharp

The age old fear was scorned.

And he lives to tell the tale of how Death at last, is dead!

So thus planned the old man

As his aging years went by

Determined to someday conquer Death

and live immortal life.

What comfort can you give a man

Who has that in his mind?

What sympathy can you offer him,

What solace might be kind?

He wants no pity, can’t you see—

He thinks he’ll never die

There are no words to make him accept

A good and thoughtful life.

The people thought that age had made

him just a little looney

And children stayed away from him

Who muttered low and moody,

I’ll live to tell my tale of how Death at last is dead!

Then one night after many years

When he was old and sickly

Guess who crept in after dark

With long, black robe and sickle?

The bitter old man now lay abed

Trembling with such fright.

But still he rose to take his part

In the much awaited fight.

And as he grappled in the dark

With the strong, black form who crept in

He felt the menace and the strength

Of the one who’d come to take him.

They wrestled long; the Living and Death

They wrestled through the night

The determined old man and black robed Death

With glowing eyes so bright.

Oh, would he live to tell his tale of how Death at last is dead?

Then suddenly Death lunged and the old man fell

His groping hand found the sickle

A mighty swing—and Death was dead!

The old man was the victor!

He stood in triumph for a moment

Bloody sickle in his hand.

Taking a deep breath, he stood up straight

A new, and living man!

Then he turned away and glimpsed the glass

In the cold, dim morning light

And the horror within him made him gasp

And pause to gaze at the sight.

He saw his image reflected there

And a grown came deep from his soul:

His robe was black, his sickle bloody

And his eyes were glowing coal!

For though he lived, he was now the Death of Death.