O meditate on sudden Death,
And ever keep it near,
Be ready to resign your Breath,
When you the Summons hear.
Walk cheerful on in Wisdom’s ways
That when thou com’st to die,
Thou may’st behold thy Husband’s Face,
To all Eternity.
Heaven won’t admit a single Sigh,
Nor feel a twingling pain:
Death’s Empire shall in ruin lye,
And never rise again.
And now, come let us one and all,
Be actually prepared,
And hearken to the awful call
That we have lately heard.
O! why should we gon on so hard,
And boast of Days to come,
When Death stands with a naked sword
To cast us in the Tomb.
We know we do exist to Day,
But yet we cannot tell
But the next Moment we must say
Unto the World farewell.
Lord, guide us by thy Counsels here,
That when we come to die,
Angels our precious souls may bear
Up to they Throne on high.
Black Preacher to White America: The Collected Writings of Lemuel Haynes, 1774-1833 – A Poem, Occasioned by the Sudden and Surprising Death of Mr. Asa Burt ed. Richard Newman (Brooklyn, NY: Carlson Publishing, Inc, 1990) p. 7-8.