Frederick George Scott

COLLECTED POEMS


 

Death and Life



Quoth Death to Life: ‘Behold what strength is mine!
    All others perish, yet I do not fail;
    Where life aboundeth most, I most prevail;
I mete out all things with my measuring line.’
Then answered Life: ‘O boastful Death, not thine
5
    The final triumph; what thy hands undo
    My busy anvil forgeth out anew;
For one lamp darkened I bring two to shine.’

Then answered Death: “Thy handiwork is fair,
    But a slight breath will crumble it to dust.’

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‘Nay, Death,’ said Life, ‘for in the vernal air
    A sweeter blossom breaks the winter’s crust.’
Then God called down and stopped the foolish strife;
His servants both—God made both Death and Life. [Page 139]