I shall die, but that is all that I shall do for Death.
I hear him leading his horse out of the stall; I hear the clatter
on the barn-floor.
He is in haste; he has business in Cuba, business in the Balkans,
many calls to make this morning.
But I will not hold the bridle while he cinches the girth.
And he may mount by himself: I will not give him a leg up.
Though he flick my shoulders with his whip, I will not tell him
which way the fox ran.
With his hoof on my breast, I will not tell him where the black
boy hides in the swamp.
I shall die, but that is all that I shall do for Death; I am not
on his pay-roll.
I will not tell him the whereabouts of my friends nor of my
Though he promise me much, I will not map him the route to any
Am I a spy in the land of the living, that I should deliver men
Brother, the password and the plans of our city are safe with me;
never through me
Shall you be overcome.
Edna St. Vincent Millay