I "Name me the gift of God!" A man commanded. His brow was furrowed With thought. He wished to know all things. II There was a clamor among the peoples; Many strove to answer, And many were silent. Some did not care, Yet none were too busy to listen. At first, They named all things, In loud voices, Till the weak were hushed. III Then the strong ones became as one: "Life is the gift of God!" they cried, In a mighty chant, Which shook the heavens. But in time, They became tired, And no longer outraged the sky. IV Then a graybeard, Doddering on the edge of his grave, Raised a thin voice. He had seen three generations Come and go; He knew all tricks; He said. "Death is the gift of God." He knew. But the people were angry, And in a great clamor, Drowned his thin voice.
Return to the Jack London library , or . . . Read the next poem; The Klondyker's Dream