There stands a hostel by a travelled way; Life is the road and Death the worthy host; Each guest he greets, nor ever lacks to say, ”How have ye fared?” They answer him, the most, ”This lodging place is other than we sought; We had intended farther, but the gloom Came on apace, and found us ere we thought: Yet will we lodge. Thou hast abundant room.” Within sit haggard men that speak no word, No fire gleams their cheerful welcome shed; No voice of fellowship or strife is heard But silence of a multitude of dead. ”Naught can I offer ye,” quoth Death, ”but rest!” And to his chamber leads each tired guest.
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