Nell and John

A poem by Matthew Prior

When Nell, given o'er by the doctor, was dying,
And John at the chimney stood decently crying,
'Tis in vain said the woman to make such ado,
For to our long home we must all of us go.

True, Nell, replied John; but what yet is the worst
For us that remain, the best always go first;
Remember, dear wife, that I said so last year,
When you lost your white heifer, and I my brown mare.

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