“is your reaper grim? and does he greet you with a smile? does he sing a calming hymn, gently take you by the hand, and like some old acquaintance, like a friend, with subtle assurances beguile with promise of a greener land?
“then does he gesture to the end that previously you did not see? do you struggle, try to flee? or do you place your trust in him to lead you to some better place? does he have a kindly face?”
we all, we all alike do ask, we all would want to know how brutal is his thankless task.
does he divert or stop the flow of love, of thought, of life, of entity? where does the lively stanza go that sang with such sonority?
what lies within his wooden cask he does not deign to show; neither his face behind the mask.
“so, is he grim, your reaper, and are you sure he has a smile? the beating of your pulse keeps detailed timing; Time marks out each step, each yard, each mile. you are Time's slave, he is your keeper, his the strike that sets the knell a-chiming.”
well might we laugh in drunken glee, well might we fill our days with joys; well might we hope or pray we do not see or feel the fateful blow that shatters hope and fells our mortal frame, the ghastly strike the enterprise destroys of rich, of poor, of old, of young, of all alike both high and low to this assassin are the same.
he wanders constantly among the sick, the dispossessed, the lame. his crooked smile is with us from our birth, and waits awhile until we leave this earth.