The Tailor

[On Death and the Miser by Hieronymus Bosch]

‘Now if we take it in a little at the waist, so –
And drape the edge over the left arm –
Then, good sir, be ye visiting high or low
Ye shall give them goodly cause for alarm!’

So spake our worthy tailor to his grisly client
Who returned him a smile to freeze a giant,
Briskly professional, our most noble hero
Did but survey him critically from head to toe

‘May I ask, sir, an it be not too much of a liberty,
Whose soul you mean to harvest for eternity?’
‘Oh, not at all’ Death picked up his awful spear
‘Yon miser’s relations will soon have cause to cheer’

‘Oho!’ thought our clever friend, ”Tis Uncle Jon!
Angels and demons are gathered by his bedside
And he lies there fuming while his attendants slide
His money into their grubby pockets – hold on!’

Indeed our charming comrade made such good time
He was there to hear the fatal doorbell chime,
The maid’s shriek, the hoarse ‘I’ll announce myself’
And yet serenely unto the gold did he himself help.

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