Alan Seeger

Alan Seeger
Seeger in French Foreign Legion uniform
Alan Seeger, born June 22, 1888, was an American poet who fought and died in World War I on July 4, 1916 while serving in the French Foreign Legion. A statue to his memory and to the memory of his comrades, Americans who had volunteered to fight for France, was erected in the Place des États-Unis, Paris. He was contemporary with poet T.S. Eliot.

RENDEZVOUX

I have a rendezvous with Death
At some disputed barricade,
When Spring comes back with rustling shade
And apple-blossoms fill the air--
I have a rendezvous with Death
When Spring brings back blue days and fair.

It may be he shall take my hand
And lead me into his dark land
And close my eyes and quench my breath –
It may be I shall pass him still.
I have a rendezvous with Death
On some scarred slope of battered hill,
When Spring comes round again this year
And the first meadow-flowers appear.

God knows ‘twere better to be deep
Pillowed in silk and scented down,
Where love throbs out in blissful sleep,
Pulse nigh to pulse, and breath to breath,
Where hushed awakenings are dear.
But I’ve a rendezvous with Death
At midnight in some flaming town,
When Spring trips north again this year,
And I to my pledged word am true,
I shall not fail that rendezvous