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Presented by State Library Victoria

White Death | A sonnet

White death – booklover

(Perspective of the bride in “The Lion’s Bride – Gwen Harwood”)

Each day I walk into the dark and musty cage,
to see a majestic animal before me. I stroke and try
and pat its golden, soft fur. Its muzzle on my thigh,
I feed the sleeping monster, the lion’s daily wage.
My duty it is, before the eyes of the crowd,
to tame this gentle beast, simply a cat I dare say out loud.

But then on my wedding day, a day for my betrothed and I,
I secretly feed my dear animal before I bid him farewell but
to my surprise, it pounces and claws. “Oh my!” I cry.
The fiend within jumps at me, the devil’s eye I see and the cut,
the fear is overwhelming me. My dear creature, my pet
what have you turned into? Like death with fury and hate,
my blood is spilled across the floor. Have I paid my debt?
For loving you so dearly. Why, this must be my passing date.