The Crazy World

THE WORLD did say to me,
‘My bread thou shalt not eat,
I have no place for thee
In house nor field nor street.

‘I have on land nor sea
For thee nor home nor bread,
I scarce can give to thee
A grave when thou art dead.’

‘O crazy World,’ said I,
‘What is it thou canst give,
Which wanting, I must die,
Or having, I shall live?

‘When thou thy all hast spent,
And all thy harvests cease,
I still have nutriment
That groweth by decrease.

‘Thy streets will pass away,
Thy towers of steel be rust,
Thy heights to plains decay,
Thyself be wandering dust;

‘But I go ever on
From prime to endless prime,
I sit on Being’s throne,
A lord o’er space and time.

‘Then, crazy World,’ said I,
‘What is it thou canst give,
Which wanting, I must die,
Or having, I shall live?’

by William Gay

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