He’d had that thing for years – some dreadful woe –
I can’t remember what it’s called –
I guess he’d had enough, although
I don’t know all the details. Was he bald?
I haven’t seen him for a while; he crawled
Into the doctor’s once, all short of breath;
I would have helped him, but my car had stalled.
They say it was a Mercy Death.

I told my Fred that he must never show
Reluctance, if by sickness I am mauled –
You remember that bad pain in my big toe –
I couldn’t stand it to be hospital’d,
Or in a wheelchair to be hauled
Around, like with his cousin Beth;
I said I’d do the same for him, and he just caterwauled.
They say it was a Mercy Death.

It’s only right that he should know
My feelings, but he looked as though we’d brawled,
Or I had picked up something large to throw;
He just stood there looking quite appalled,
As if he’d had a nasty scald –
As if I’d broken some old Shibboleth;
But no one wants a death that’s slow.
They say it was a Mercy Death.

Envoy

Prince, you adore the Planet so,
You would cut the population; and like your namesake King Macbeth,
You would find it easier to kill a friend than foe –
You’d even call it Mercy Death.

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We hope you will join us in The Imaginative Conservative community. The Imaginative Conservative is an online journal for those who seek the True, the Good and the Beautiful. We address culture, liberal learning, politics, political economy, literature, the arts, and the American Republic in the tradition of Russell Kirk, T.S. Eliot, Edmund Burke, Irving Babbitt, Wilhelm Roepke, Robert Nisbet, Richard Weaver, M.E. Bradford, Eric Voegelin, Christopher Dawson, Paul Elmer More, and other leaders of Imaginative Conservatism. Some conservatives may look at the state of Western culture and the American Republic and see a huge dark cloud which seems ready to unleash a storm that may well wash away what we most treasure of our inherited ways. Others focus on the silver lining which may be found in the next generation of traditional conservatives who have been inspired by Dr. Kirk and his like. We hope that The Imaginative Conservative answers T.S. Eliot’s call to “redeem the time, redeem the dream.” The Imaginative Conservative offers to our families, our communities, and the Republic, a conservatism of hope, grace, charity, gratitude, and prayer.

Editor’s Note: The featured image is courtesy of Unsplash.

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