The man who stands stiff in a short-lived world
He knows not how long is the lease of his clod.
With Death he must reckon, when Death shall beckon
The soul must knock at the door of God.
Then Christ shall come and shall ask of the soul,
"O Soul, say how hast thou spent thy day?
I gave to thee power and self-control,
Thou fool, hast thou given thyself away?"
"I thought I had time before me still,
And space to return beneath Thy shield,
But Death came first, and against my will,
Ere I knew it, to Death I was forced to yield."
To the Trinity's presence the soul must mount,
To the judgment it comes, and its sins it bears,
And nought that it pleads for itself shall count
Save fasting, and giving of alms, and prayers.
If you gave but a glass of the water cold
(The simplest drink on the green earth's sod),
Your reward is before you, a thousand-fold,
If the thing has been done for the sake of God.
Three things there be, the reward of man
For offending God—'tis a risk to run—
Misfortune's fall, and a shortened span,
And the pains of hell when all is done.