Blind Francis, waiting to welcome Sister Death,
though he was by ecstacies and fame,
Had heart for tune. With what remained of
He led his friars in canticles. Then came
Brother Elias, scowling, to
Small-souled Elias, crying by book and candle,
This was outrageous!
Had the friars no pride?
Music at deathbeds! Ah, the shame! the scandal!
gave him sermons and advice
Instead of song; which simply proves once more
things are sure this side of paradise:
Death, taxes, and the counsel of the
Though we outwit the tithe, make death our friend,
Bores we have with us
even to the end.
(Phyllis McGinley, 1950)