"Poor wanderer," said the leaden sky, "I fain would lighten thee, But there are laws in force on high Which say it must not be."
--"I would not freeze thee, shorn one," cried The North, "knew I but how To warm my breath, to slack my stride; But I am ruled as thou."
--"To-morrow I attack thee, wight," Said Sickness. "Yet I swear I bear thy little ark no spite, But am bid enter there."
--"Come hither, Son," I heard Death say; "I did not will a grave Should end thy pilgrimage to-day, But I, too, am a slave!"
We smiled upon each other then, And life to me had less Of that fell look it wore ere when They owned their passiveness.
This poem is in the public domain.