Ho! ho! Father Death! I have won you another!
Another grand soul I have ruined and taken;
I, who am licensed by good Christian people,
Eat and eat at their souls till by angels forsaken:
I spoil them, I soil them, and past all reclaiming
They fall, sick with sins that are too black for naming.
Ho! ho! Father Death! count me as your best man:
I bring you more souls than famine or battle.
Let pestilence rage! it will last but a season,
And the soft voice of peace stills the cannon's loud rattle;
But I, pausing never, with ceaseless endeavor,
Night and day, day and night, I am toiling for ever.
Ho! ho! Father Death! I have brought you my thousands:
Good people help me, license, uphold me,
Gaze on some victim I stole from their household-
Gaze, and upbraid the foul demon that sold me.
Ah! but they helped him-argued and voted
Till license was granted, and I was promoted.
Ho! ho! Father Death! is he not a grand victim?
I bring you souls that are well worth the winning-
Noble and brave, with the rare gifts of heaven;
But I eat them away and pollute them with sinning.
Now, but for me there would be few above him,
Honored and prized by the dear ones who love him.