Charles Lamb

Love, Death, And Reputation

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A FABLE

Once on a time, Love, Death, and Reputation,
Three travellers, a tour together went;
And, after many a long perambulation,
Agreed to part by mutual consent.


Death said: "My fellow tourists, I am going
To seek for harvests in the embattled plain;
Where drums are beating, and loud trumpets blowing,
There you'll be sure to meet with me again."


Love said: "My friends, I mean to spend my leisure
With some young couple, fresh in Hymen's bands;
Or 'mongst relations, who in equal measure
Have had bequeathëd to them house or lands."


But Reputation said: "If once we sever,
Our chance of future meeting is but vain:
Who parts from me, must look to part for ever,
For Reputation lost comes not again."

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Charles Lamb