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To Thanatos

To Thanatos, so kind and so good, I offer my praise.
Son of the darkness and the night, of wise Erebos
and raven-haired Nyx, brother of Hypnos who grants a respite
ephemeral and sweet, O Thanatos, you bring a repose
of a longer span–an endless sleep is yours to bestow.
Beautiful Thanatos, well-wreathed with poppies red as blood,
black-winged god, fleet-footed one, bearer of the sharp-edged sword
with which you cut a lock of hair from each who enters Hades’ realm:
some call you merciless, hard of heart, O god who takes
from us those we most love–and yet, dear Thanatos,
yours is a mercy great and freeing, a boundless comfort,
a final peace. O god who gives us life’s last blessing, I praise you.

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