Strange Jokes

Sidney Lanier is an actor.

Well: Death is a huge omnivorous Toad
Grim squatting on a twilight road.
He catcheth all that Circumstance
  Hath tossed to him.
He curseth all who upward glance
  As lost to him.

Once in a whimsey mood he sat
And talked of life, in proverbs pat,
To Eve in Eden, -- "Death, on Life" --
  As if he knew!
And so he toadied Adam's wife
  There, in the dew.

O dainty dew, O morning dew
That gleamed in the world's first dawn, did you
And the sweet grass and manful oaks
  Give lair and rest
To him who toadwise sits and croaks
  His death-behest?

Who fears the hungry Toad? Not I!
He but unfetters me to fly.
The German still, when one is dead,
  Cries out "Der Tod!"
But, pilgrims, Christ will walk ahead
  And clear the road.