Death And The Unfortunate.

A poem by Jean de La Fontaine

A poor unfortunate, from day to day,
Call'd Death to take him from this world away.
'O Death' he said, 'to me how fair thy form!
Come quick, and end for me life's cruel storm.'
Death heard, and with a ghastly grin,
Knock'd at his door, and enter'd in
'Take out this object from my sight!'
The poor man loudly cried.
'Its dreadful looks I can't abide;
O stay him, stay him' let him come no nigher;
O Death! O Death! I pray thee to retire!'

A gentleman of note
In Rome, Maecenas,[2] somewhere wrote: -
"Make me the poorest wretch that begs,
Sore, hungry, crippled, clothed in rags,
In hopeless impotence of arms and legs;
Provided, after all, you give
The one sweet liberty to live:
I'll ask of Death no greater favour
Than just to stay away for ever."

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