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I have always liked this dialogue from ‘Jane Eyre’

but I have put it into metre and expanded it a little.


Where do the wicked go when their death knell

has been tolled, you insignificant child?

Good sir, I believe that they go to Hell.

Describe this place reserved for those not mild,

nor meek.

Sir, it is a pit full of fire.

Should you like to fall into such a place?

(Then you would not join the Heavenly choir.)

I hope to reach Paradise, by God’s grace.

So, how might you avoid a dark decree?

I must try to keep in the best of health;

I must not listen to a Pharisee,

nor to those who slavishly amass wealth.

In short, I must take care never to die.

My God is Truth and yours, Sir, is a Lie.