I Would Not Live Always

I would not live always; I ask not to stay,
Where I must bear the burden and heat of the day:
Where my body is cut with the lash or the cord,
And a hovel and hunger are all my reward.

I would not live always, where life is a load
To the flesh and the spirit:-since there's an abode
For the soul disenthralled, let me breathe my last breath,
And repose in thine arms, my deliverer, Death!-

I would not live always to toil as a slave:
O no, let me rest, though I rest in my grave;
For there, from their troubling, the wicked shall cease,
And, free from his master, the slave be at peace.

by John Pierpont

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