Page:The Folk-Lore Journal Volume 7 1889.djvu/210

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

'Twas therefore said by ancient sages,
That love of life increased with years.
So much, that in our latter stages,
When pains grow sharp, and sickness rages,
The greatest love of life appears.
This great affection to believe,
Which all confess, but few perceive.
If old affections can't prevail,
Be pleased to hear a modern tale.
When Sports went round, and all were gay,
On neighbour Dobson's wedding-day,
Death call'd aside the jocund groom,
With him into another room:
And looking grave, You must, says he,
Quit your sweet bride and come with me.
With you, and quit my Susan's side?
With you! the hapless husband cried;
Young as I am; 'tis monstrous hard;
Besides, in truth, I'm not prepared:
My thoughts on other matters go.
This is my wedding-night you know.
What more he urged, I have not heard,
His reasons could not well be stronger,
So Death the poor delinquent spared.
And left to live a little longer.
Yet calling up a serious look,
His hour-glass tumbled while he spoke.
Neighbour, he said, farewell! No more
Shall Death disturb your mirthful hour.
And further to avoid all blame
Of cruelty upon my name,
To give you time for preparation,
And fit you for your future station,
Three several warnings you shall have.
Before you're summoned to the grave:
Willing, for once, I'll quit my prey.
And grant a kind reprieve;
In hopes you'll have no more to say,
But when I call again this way,
Well pleas'd the world will leave.
To these conditions both consented,
And parted perfectly contented.
What next the hero of our tale befell.
How long he lived, how wise, how well.
How roundly he pursued his course,