Alfred Gibbs Campbell

A Paraphrase

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One, dressed in purple and linen,
Sat at his ease, in state;
The other, a leprous beggar,
Lay at the rich man's gate:
Dainty and rare were the viands
On which the rich man fed;
Happy indeed was the beggar
To get but a crust of bread;
With costly and odorous ointments
The rich man's house abounds,
While never a box of cerate
Has the beggar for his wounds;
And the dogs came forth and licked them,
Richer in sympathy
Than the proud and selfish rich man
Who spurned him heartlessly.


The rich man died, and was buried
With gorgeous and solemn show;
For a rich man's gold then purchased
Funereal honors, as now;
But, reckless of these, he lifted
From Hell his imploring eyes,
And beheld the once spurned beggar
Full happy in Paradise,
While he himself was tormented
With fiercely exquisite pain.
Then cried he to Father Abraham,
But alas! he cried in vain;
For, as he had meted to others,
It was measured to him again!

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