Bohemian legends and other poems/The Body and the Soul
THE BODY AND THE SOUL.
A BOHEMIAN LEGEND.
In the churchyard, by the chapel,
A lost soul was heard disputing
With its body lying rigid,
In its coffin calmly sleeping.
“Oh, you body, wretched body,
In rich silks you flaunted gayly.
Wanton were your ways and pastimes—
Now I suffer for you sadly.
“Every thing you saw you wanted—
Every pleasure you have tasted,
Clothed in gold and costly raiments,
See, your life was wholly wasted.
In the dance your feet were quickest,
Where the tambourines were playing,
And the wayward youth were singing,
Tender words, in sooth, were saying.
“At the feast the flowing goblet,
You have emptied without number,
Never did you think of praying,
When you lay you down to slumber.
You have danced to sweetest music—
I must writhe in mortal anguish.
While your body sleeps there calmly,
I in hell am doomed to languish.”
Then the body answered coldly,
“Tell me, soul, were you not with me
When I lived in wanton splendor,
Was there anything kept from thee?”
Then the soul said, speaking sadly,
“You say truly I was with you,
But not mistress of my actions—
They were forced upon me by you”
“Waste no time in speaking to me,”
Said the body, growing weary;
“Let me rest and haste thee thither,
Where the endless years stretch dreary.’
“I will go,” the soul said, calmly,
“Leaving thee to worms and foulness,
Bearing all the pains that must be,
Till I find God’s mercy endless.”