Text of the Poem
Gardener: Sir, I encountered Death Just now among our roses. Thin as a scythe he stood there. I knew him by his pictures. He had his black coat on, 5 Black gloves, a broad black hat. I think he would have spoken, Seeing his mouth stood open. Big it was, with white teeth. As soon as he beckoned, I ran. 10 I ran until I found you. Sir, I am quitting my job. I want to see my sons Once more before I die. I want to see California. 15 Master:Sir you must be that stranger Who threatened my gardener. This is my property, sir. I welcome only friends here. Death: Sir, I knew your father. 20 And we were friends at the end. As for your gardener I did not threaten him. Old men mistake my gestures. I only meant to ask him 25 To show me to his master. I take it you are he?