The Death of Adam

’T was Adam at the gates of Paradise:
Sick with the world’s first sickness, prostrate, pale,
Low lay he, in his pain. And they made wail
That stood by him: "O father, dim your eyes
And filmed, on your great limbs you cannot rise;
Lo, huge black clouds across the heavens sail,
And prowling shadow crouches in the vale.
What burden, father, on the hurt earth lies ? ”
“ I fail, O wife and children, for the bough
Whereof I ate. Go thou, swift-footed Seth,
And pluck from that sweet tree.” With eyes mist-dim
He looked on it. “ Nay, wife, nay, children, now
Is here the one He spake of to me, — Death ;
With hollow voice he bids me follow him.”
John Vance Cheney.