Inclined for some sport with the carnal,
So he tied a pack of darts on his back,
And quietly stole from his charnel.
His body was lean and lank,
His joints at each stir made a crack, and the cur
Took a gnaw, by the way, at his shank.
This goblin of grisly bone?
He dabbled and spill'd man's blood, and he kill'd
Like a butcher that kills his own.
(For the man was a coffin-maker,)
To think how the mutes, and men in black suits,
Would mourn for an undertaker.
Quoth he, "We shall not differ."
And he let them alone, like figures of stone,
For he could not make them stiffer.
In fear they could not smother;
And he shot one through at once—for he knew
They never would shoot each other.
And he gave a snore infernal;
Said Death, "He may keep his breath, for his sleep
Can never be more eternal."
So slow, that his fare grew sick;
But he let him stray on his tedious way,
For Death only wars on the quick.
In the spirit of his fraternity;
But he knew that sort of man would extort,
Though summon'd to all eternity.
But he let him write no further;
For Death, who strikes whenever he likes,
Is jealous of all self-murther!
And a doctor that took the sum;
But he let them be—for he knew that the "fee"
Was a prelude to "faw" and "fum."
And he gave him a mortal thrust;
For himself, by law, since Adam's flaw,
Is contractor for all our dust.
And he marked him out for slaughter;
For on water he scarcely had cared for Death,
And never on rum-and-water.
But the game wasn't worth a dump,
For he quickly laid them flat with a spade,
To wait for the final trump!