The Fatalist speaks first, and cries:
Death is the final end!
All men to nothing tend.
There is no God to rend
Us from the grave. Depend
Upon it – death’s the end.
And so – why stop to think?
Just blue this tiny link
‘Twixt birth and death on drink
And drugs, fast cars – a mink
Or two. Blow up life’s pink
Balloon – why stop to think?
The Humanist, outraged replies:
There’s not a single seed
Of life in death – agreed.
And God is dead indeed!
But man is great! No need
Has he of pious creed –
Religion is the weak-kneed
Man’s escape. Be strong and lead
The good life. Go and plead
The cause of those who bleed
Beneath injustice. Heed
The cry of man! Then, freed
From pain and war, our breed
Will make its heaven. We’ll need
No dreamed-up God – the mead
And crown are ours! We’ll
Rule this cosmic bead.
Then, soft as when the west wind sighs:
There comes a sound that seems both far and near
At hand – now indistinct, now bell-like and clear.
So does the tide steal in unnoticed, till so near
That its bright sparkling splash alerts the ear,
And what we’ve always known, at last we hear.
So, shall we let the deadening night of fear
Snuff out the daystar? No! Let the dawn appear!
Its every ray proclaiming “I am here”.