Dreary Death and Hateful Health,
Knocked upon my door and knelt,
And, "choose between us woman," said,
One exuding faith, the other dread.
"Outside it rains and our bodies pain,
From lack of human life to claim,
Neither the other one can stand,
So a choice from you we demand."
"But why?" I asked, perplexed and vexed,
Health couldn't be won nor death annexed,
So why choose when choice changes naught?
Ought Death be the one that's shunned, or not?
"Choose me and forever live,
All sins I promise to forgive,
But if you're not strong, you will belong,
With naught but what had done you wrong."
"Ignore His ignoble ignorance, do!
He knows not what his mouth had spewed,
Choose me and I shall give to you,
A life reserved for a favored few."
"But why?" I pressed, panicked and stressed,
What host can refuse a guest distressed?
But what host held in her hostage hand,
The power to doom and to be damned?
"If Health you house you will condemn,
Your brethren to the Under-realm--"
"But would you harbor Death instead,
Who would have them live but have you dead?"
"I am but a lowly being, I confess,
But upon your souls I must impress,
That albeit moved, I'm hard and shrewd,
And would have the both of you removed."
Aghast, amazed, the Immortals gaped,
I smiled and spoke as I escaped,
"Suffer like humans and realize,
That pain by pleasure is neutralized."
I watched as Life descended then,
And tied them to the land of men,
And Health and Death bowed to Life,
Who then pronounced them man and wife.