The Paupers’ Death (La Mort des pauvres)

It is death that consoles us, that keeps us teeming
The purpose of life, and our only warrant
We drink its elixir, wasted and steaming
For heart to march on, though wishing we weren’t

All through the storm, through frost and sleet
It’s the one beacon in our bleak assay
The tavern inscribed in our sacred writ
Where we eat, sleep, and sit and the end of the day.

It’s an Angel who holds in his magnetic hands
Sleep and the blessing of rapturous dreams
Who makes up the bed of the naked and poor

It’s the glory of the Gods, the mystical manor,
The pauper’s purse and his ancient regime
To heavens unknown, death is the open door!

[Original poem here.]

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