I ask not that my bed of death
From bands of greedy heirs be free;
For these besiege the latest breath
Of fortune's favoured sons, not me.
I ask not each kind soul to keep
Tearless, when of my death he hears;
Let those who will, if any, weep!
There are worse plagues on earth than tears.
I ask but that my death may find
The freedom to my life denied;
Ask but the folly of mankind,
Then, at last, to quit my side.
Spare me the whispering, crowded room,
The friends who come, and gape, and go;
The ceremonious air of gloom -
All which makes death a hideous show!
Nor bring, to see me cease to live,
Some doctor full of phrase and fame,
To shake his sapient head and give
The ill he cannot cure a name.
Nor fetch, to take the accustomed toll
Of the poor sinner bound for death,
His brother doctor of the soul,
To canvass with official breath