The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 7/In Sickness
Written in Ireland October 1714.
'TIS true — then why should I repine
To see my life so fast decline?
But why obscurely here alone,
Where I am neither lov'd nor known?
My state of health none care to learn;
My life is here no soul's concern:
And those with whom I now converse
Without a tear will tend my hearse.
Remov'd from kind Arbuthnot's aid,
Who knows his art, but not his trade,
Preferring his regard for me
Before his credit, or his fee.
Some formal visits, looks, and words,
What mere humanity affords,
I meet perhaps from three or four,
From whom I once expected more;
Which those who tend the sick for pay
Can act as decently as they:
But no obliging tender friend
To help at my approaching end.
My life is now a burden grown
To others, ere it be my own.
Ye formal weepers for the sick,
In your last offices be quick;
And spare my absent friends the grief
To hear, yet give me no relief;
Expir'd to day, intomb'd to morrow.
When known, will save a double sorrow.