Early Works of Karl Marx: Book of Verse

The Last Judgment

A Jest

Ah! that life of all the dead,
Hallelujahs that I hear,
Make my hair stand on my head,
And my soul is sick with fear.

For, when everything is severed
And the play of forces done,
When our sufferings fade for ever.
     And the final goal is won,

God Eternal we must praise,
Endless hallelujahs whine,
Endless hymns of glory raise,
Know no more delight or pain.

Ha! I shudder on the stair
Leading to perfection's goal,
And I shudder when I hear,
     Urging me, that death-bed call.

There can only be one Heaven,
That one's fully occupied,
We must share it with old women
    Whom the teeth of Time have gnawed.

While their flesh lies underground
With decay and stones o'ershovelled,
Brightly hued, their souls hop round
In a spider-dance enravelled.

All so skinny, all so thin,
So aethereal, so chaste,
Never were their forms so lean,
Even when most tightly laced.

But I ruin the proceedings
     As my hymns of praise I holler.
And the Lord God hears my screamings,
And gets hot under the collar;

Calls the highest Angel out,
Gabriel, the tall and skinny,
Who expels the noisy lout
Without further ceremony.

I just dreamed it all, you see,
    Thought I faced the Court Supreme.
Good folk, don't be cross with me,
It was never sin to dream.