When Death Tomorrow

(This is a poem by Ogden Nash, salvaged from a 1935 Magazine Verse Anthology.)

When Death tomorrow, or the morrow after,
Dismounts before the door, and knocks,
O let me face him not with idiot laughter;
The sly bravado of the cornered fox;
Nor yet with cringing knee, nor curling lip,
Nor drugged composure,
Nor genial words of false good-fellowship,
Submit to the ineluctible foreclosure.
O sudden visitor who will not stay,
But, turning, bear the householder away,
Grant that I open boldly and go forth, knowing
That what was entrusted, I in trust have kept;
Go quietly, in the knowledge that at my going
Some scoundrels have rejoiced, some children wept.

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