George Moses Horton

Man, A Torch

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Blown up with painful care and hard to light,
A glimmering torch blown in a moment out,
Suspended by a web, an angler's bait,
Floating at stake along the stream of chance,
Snatch'd from its hook by the fish of poverty,
A silent cavern is his last abode;
The king's repository veil'd with gloom,
The umbrage of a thousand oziers bowed,
The couch of hallowed bones, the grave's asylum,
The brave's retreat and end of ev'ry care.

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George Moses Horton