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,"
Robert William Service