Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE NIGHT OF THE DEAD, by JULIEN AUGUSTE PELAGE BRIZEUX

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

THE NIGHT OF THE DEAD, by                 Poet's Biography
First Line: If in this house ye lie a-bed
Last Line: God sends the summons that we bring.
Alternate Author Name(s): Brizeux, Auguste
Subject(s): Death; Memory; Dead, The

IF in this house ye lie a-bed
Rouse, for this night is to the Dead!
For them God bids us knock your door,
Lest they be unrememberéd.

For them, O easy sleepers, pray!
The quick go lightly on their way:
Now on a bed of burning coal
Perchance your buried fathers flay.

Gold comes and goes; and yet behold
How many sell their souls for gold.
Arise, and on your chill hearth pray
That God may keep your dead in fold!

Be upright folk; of sin beware;
Weigh well your goods at mart and fair,
Nor give short measure. The Lord Christ
Shall pay you well for all your care.

Fire-winged, the holy Seraphin
Down to the Earth shall swiftly spin,
Saint Michael with his golden scales
To weigh your sinful soul therein.

Ah, then you'll need another bed!
A pad of hay shall prop your head,
And you within the winding-sheet
In lidded coffin shall lie dead.

Our song is a heart-rending thing;
All men must weep when we do sing.
Pray for your unforgotten dead;
God sends the summons that we bring.

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