Monday, May 6, 2013

As I Lay Dead One Day, ca 1898

This clipping was among the papers of James H. Moran III.  I was not able to locate an author and the first time it shows up in a google search is in Life Magazine volume 32 issue 816, 1898.  It was titled "Afterwards".  The clipping compares it to an earlier poem by Ben King ca 1894.

"This one from Life contains some features of Ben King's "If I Should Die To-Night"

As I lay dead one day,
  With all the people round,
"Poor boy!" I heard one say;
  "He'll soon be under ground.

"He owed me ten, but then"
  (He softly smoothed his brow),
"Twill not occur again;
  He cannot reach me now."

"How natural he looks,"
  Another said.  "Poor lad!
He was so fond of books--
  He borrowed all I had."

Another: "Poor, dear sould!
  He loved my dinners so!
How sad! Yet, on the whole
  "Twas best that he should go."

Another: "Ah! so young!
  So hard it is to think
His song was left unsung--
  They say he used to drink."

Another: "He was bright!
  How pitiful to fling
Such gifts away, He might
  Have done some clever thing."

And still another groaned,
  As in his chair he sank:
"His loss will be bemoaned--
  They say he was a crank."

As I lay dead one day,
  While waiting for the hearse,
I couldn't help but say;
  "This might have been much worse!"

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