Said the Psychopomp

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“On the day that you die
I will not laugh
Nor shall I make merry

I will stand with my face to the sky
And tell each star your name
Before I take you down below

I know what must be:
Death takes us all in the end.
The rich, the poor, and even the gods

Though your twilight will come many times
Before the day when I step into the night
Surrendering to dreamless sleep

I know what must be,
But if I fail to grieve
What am I?

And if I fail to fight it
Though my power is meager
Beside the awesome might of death
If I fail to try
Then what is my heart for?

On that day, when I fail
As I know I must
I will not be peaceful
There will be no acceptance

Strangers I take to the ferryman
But when one of my flock dies
I see them through the door
Right up to the throne of Persephone
You will find that I’m not ashamed to bargain
And failing in the bargaining, unhesitant to beg

If you thought you would go quietly,
Know that I will raise a ruckus in your honor
For each day I lose a dear one
It is a day of reckoning for the gods

They will think twice before taking you too soon.”


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