The Life of Man

Original Text: 
The Complete Poems of W. H. Davies, intro. by Osbert Sitwell (London: Jonathan Cape, 1963): 368. PR 6007 A8A17
1All from his cradle to his grave,
2Poor devil, man's a frightened fool;
3His Mother talks of imps and ghosts,
4His Master threatens him at school.
5When half a man and half a boy,
6The Law complains of his high blood;
7And then the Parson threatens him
8With hell, unless baptized for good.
9Soon after, when a married man,
10He fears the humours of his Spouse;
11And, when a father, fears to spend
12One shilling that his Babes might lose.
13Then comes Old Age, Lumbago, Gout,
14Rheumatic Pains that ache and sting:
15All from his cradle to his grave,
16Poor devil, man's a frightened thing.
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: