The Ship

A King, a pope, and a kaiser,
and a queen–most fair was she—
Went sailing, sailing, sailing,
over a sunny sea.
And amid them sat a beggar,
A churl of low degree;
And they all went sailing, sailing,
Over the sunny sea.

And the king said to the kaiser,
And his comrades fair and free,
“Let’s turn adrift this beggar,
This churl of low degree,
For he taints the balmy odors
That blow to you and me,
As we travel, sailing, sailing,
Over the sunny sea.”

“The ship is mine.” said the beggar—
That churl of low degree—
“And we’re all of us sailing, sailing,
To the grave o’er the sunny sea;
And you may not and you cannot
Get rid of mine or me;
No! Not for your crowns and scepters—
And my name is Death! Quoth he.

Charles Mackay

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