Said I to Pain: 'You would not dare
Do ill to me.'
Said Pain: 'Poor fool! Why should I care
Whom you may be?
To clown and king alike I bring
My meed of bane;
Why should you shirk my chastening?'
Said I to Grief: 'No tears have I,
Go on your way.'
Said Grief: 'Why should I pass you by,
While others pay?
All men must know the way of woe,
From saint to thief,
And tears were meant to overflow,'
Said I to Death: 'From ail and fret
Grant me relief.'
Said Death: 'I know you are beset
By Pain and Grief.
But my good will you must await
Since human breath
To suffering is consecrate,'
Said I to God: 'Pale Sister Grief,
Bleak Brother Pain,
Bedevil me beyond belief,
And Death's unfain . . .'
Said God: 'Curse not that blessed Three,
Poor human clod!
Have faith! Believe the One with Me,'