David Lewis Paget
One By One... - Poem by David Lewis Paget
If I should disappear one sudden night,
Escape, take flight, cast off my chains
And venture out one final time
Into the darkening light,
To leave this sinking hulk behind
Mired fast in weeds, and shallow deeds
That never now may be undone;
Take heed, I pray, who loved me once –
Death takes us, one by one!
If once you speak, but never get reply,
Though my eyes stare, not having said goodbye
When all that moved me, once, has gone
To join in common history the fate of everyman…
Don’t cry for me, for I am well content;
A life, lived, loved, and now made more complete
By ending thus, as everything must end.
No – save your tears for those I leave behind,
Grief is for the living, not the dead and blind!
And if you need some final words from me
To give you hope, some ultimate destiny,
As each one passes from this mortal stage, I say
‘Have faith! ’ - as you, too, approach the end of days.
Be calm, accept, and we shall all be saved,
Just as the servant, taking back the keys of life
Confronts the Master he has served, in every faith,
And hears the words: ‘My son, you’ve done us proud! ’
Gives back the key, and takes from him the shroud.
5 June 2005
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