His Vision Of Death

A poem by Isabella Augusta

I had a vision in my sleep last night between sleeping and waking. A figure standing beside me, thin, miserable, sad and sorrowful; the shadow of night upon his face, the tracks of the tears down his cheeks. His ribs were bending like the bottom of a riddle; his nose thin that it would go through a cambric needle; his shoulders hard and sharp that they would cut tobacco; his head dark and bushy like the top of a hill; and there is nothing I can liken his fingers to. His poor bones without any kind of covering; a withered rod in his hand, and he looking in my face....

Death is a robber who heaps together kings, high princes and country lords; he brings with him the great, the young, and the wise, gripping them by the throat before all the people. Look at him who was yesterday swift & strong, who would leap stone wall, ditch and gap. Who was in the evening walking the street, and is going under the clay on the morrow.

It is a pity for him that is tempted with the temptations of the world; and the store that will go with him is so weak, and his lease of life no better if he were to live for a thousand years than just as if he had slipped over on a visit and back again.

When you are going to lie down don't be dumb. Bare your knee and bruise the ground. Think of all the deeds that you put by you, and that you are travelling towards the meadow of the dead.

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