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Poems

The Beggar and the Rich Man

The Beggar

There was a beggar, burdened and poor
Who sat by a certain rich man’s door
The crumbs alone he prayed him to spare
Merely the crumbs of the sumptuous fare

He an offense to man’s moral eye
Shaking their heads and passing him by
Stations are wrought and stablished by God
Man’s wit in truth. Is hopelessly flawed

Haughty tongues furbished, slipped from their sheath
Droves of reproach they cast in his teeth
Dubbing him LAZY, scorning his lot
Pride bursts within and sets him at naught

Robbed of all pity. Tears streamed his cheek
Trod down, helpless, defenseless and meek
In grief he groaned aloud to the Lord —
Pity Thy servant, cut loose my cord…

Sores on his body burning with pains
Dogs of the city lick of his stains
Empty his belly. No meat to fill
Hunger doth gnaw and threaten to kill

Lying there weakened. Too sick to move
No man willing his torment to sooth
Lone on the streets and hovered by death
Bowing in pain, he heaved his last breath

Angels sent forth to fetch his dear soul
Robe for his person whiter than wool
Drawn with great love to Abraham’s breast —
Laz’rus, O Laz’rus, enter thy rest

                  ***
Saint lade with sorrow, burdened of sin
Art thou weary of vanity’s din?
Mercies receive from Lord Jesus’ breast —
Come now dear child, and enter My rest

The Rich Man

There was a rich man greatly esteemed
(Div’es his name tradition hath deemed)
Charity scarcely held in his heart
Loathing was he with money to part

Scolding the needy. Pinching his purse
Grudging, he gave with many a curse
Without his gates, begged poor from the slums
Of his vast substance, merely cast crumbs

Covetous practice thuswise did cleave
Proudly he lived, for riches deceive
Health waning fast, physicians he sought
But increase of days cannot be bought

Violent his soul was stolen to hell
Torment eternal, never to quell
Coals ever heaping, terrors that smite
Flames fierce to burn, and worm’s gnashing bite

Weeping and wailing. Darkness and woe
Lifting his eye he gazed on a glow
Where saved souls rested, jewels of the Lamb
There sat Lazarus, with Abraham

“Abraham, father, pity my pain.
Send down that beggar my thirst to wain–”
But Abraham answered, “Nay, oh son!
This we cannot. Thy comforts are done.

“Good things were thine where thou once sojourned.
Sumptuous thy fare. With purple adorned.
While Lazarus’ welfare thou didst spurn…
Thus the Lord judged thee worthy to burn.”

“Then father, my father,” (Div’es said)
“Send to my brethren one from the dead.
See they don’t share in my endless fate.
Warn them turn now to paths that are straight.”

Abraham answered, “They would not heed,
though one arose, repentance to plead.
Scripture have they to warn them of wrath.
Most sufficient to alter their path.

Perchance they mind it, they shouldn’t die —
But thou knowest son, as well as I
God’s written witness they’ll not accept.
For their wicked souls, thus Hell is kept.”

                    ***
Lord Jesus Christ arose from the grave
Passion fulfilled poor sinners to save
Those who believe upon his good name
Spotless before Him. Free from all blame

Truth written plain, but Abraham said
Sinners reject One raised from the dead
Jesus is loved of whom He loved first
Those He doth hate, in unbelief cursed


The Lord maketh poore, and maketh rich: he bringeth low, and lifteth vp.

  (I. Samuel 2:7, Holy Bible 1611)

They that trust in their wealth, and boast themselues in the multitude of their riches: None of them can by any meanes redeeme his brother; nor giue to God a ransome for him: (For the redemption of their soule is precious, and it ceaseth for euer.) That he should still liue for euer, and not see corruption.

  (Psalms 49:6-9, Holy Bible 1611)

Poem concept adapted from Luke 16:19-31, Holy Bible 1611