The Alternative - 1908

If, some day, you should find me, cold and stark
If you should stumble o'er my lifeless clay
In some still thoroughfare or public park
And sadly say:
'Alack, and had he lived, as like as not
He'd reigned with Bent!' I should not care a jot.

If I should die in some by-way obscure,
And you should come across my silent corse
In its last sleep, my spirit would - be sure
Know no remorse.
'Twere better that I thus had ceased to live
If life with Bent were the alternative.

I say, if I should die, and all alone;
And, dying thus, escape the wiles of Bent;
O'er my remains I'd have you make no moan,
Nor yet lament.
But let relief be mingled with your woe;
And murmur o'er my clay, ''Twere better so.'

Nay, if you came, as in my bier I lay,
And sald, 'Who knows? If this had not occurred'
I should arise in my grave-clothes and say,
 'Don't be absurd!'
And, being safely out of Tommy's reach,
I'd probably get out and make a speech.

I'd tell you, 'Better have a monument
Above my head and, coffined, lie at rest
Than live in some Cabinet with Bent
Upon my chest.'
And, having said all that was to he said,
I should continue being very dead.

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"The Alternative - 1908" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 26 Jan. 2020. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/6554/the-alternative---1908>.

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