A Hill To Die Upon

O Death

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“I still believe that the spiritual songs
Of the african-americans represent some
Of the greatest artistic achievements in america.”
[- Dietrich bonheoffer]

What is this that I can’t see,
With ice cold hands takin’ hold of me?
When God is gone and the devil takes hold,
Lord have mercy on my soul.
Well, I am death, none can excel.
I open the door to heaven or hell.
“O, death,” someone might pray,
“Could you call me another day?”

O, death…spare me
The children prayed and the preacher preached.
Time and mercy are out of your reach.
I’ll fix your feet ‘til you can’t walk;
I’ll lock your jaw ‘til you can’t talk;
I’ll close your eyes so you can’t see.
This very hour come and go with me.
I am death come to take the soul,
Leave the body and leave it cold,
To draw the flesh off of the frame,
Dirt and worm both have a claim.

O, death…spare me
O, death, please consider my age
Please don’t take me at this stage
My wealth is all at your command
If you would remove your icy hand
Death is moving upon your soul,
All like to me, you know
No wealth, no land, no silver, no gold,
Nothing satisfies me but your soul
O, death…spare me

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