But still the devil followed me

With claws around my throat

There, in summer sun

I read the contract that he wrote

My heart was frozen hard in fear

Again he showed his skill:

“I own those things you hold most dear,

to do with as I will.”


Then opened I my mouth to sing

Alone beside the water

And still he sniggered in my soul

“But you are Satan’s daughter.”

That quiet voice, that vicious whisper

Echoed, sneaking, in my head;

Where once I sang the angels’ songs

Now croaked the voice of the dead.


“Thief,” cried I, “I want it back!”

But Thief would only mutter.

He said, “Come take it if you can!

I’ll destroy each note you utter.”

I held the contract in the sun

And prayed that God would take it,

But Satan said, “You broke God’s gift

And you cannot remake it.”


I took a breath to sing again,

To shut out Satan’s words;

And from my own mouth came a voice

Which only once I’d heard…