A mendicant friar of the order of Mount Carmel.
As Death was a-rising out one day, Across Mount Camel he took his way, Where he met a mendicant monk, Some three or four quarters drunk, With a holy leer and a pious grin, Ragged and fat and as saucy as sin, Who held out his hands and cried: "Give, give in Charity's name, I pray. Give in the name of the Church. O give, Give that her holy sons may live!" And Death replied, Smiling long and wide: "I'll give, holy father, I'll give thee - a ride."
With a rattle and bang Of his bones, he sprang From his famous Pale Horse, with his spear; By the neck and the foot Seized the fellow, and put Him astride with his face to the rear.
The Monarch laughed loud with a sound that fell Like clods on the coffin's sounding shell: "Ho, ho! A beggar on horseback, they say, Will ride to the devil!" - and thump Fell the flat of his dart on the rump Of the charger, which galloped away.
Faster and faster and faster it flew, Till the rocks and the flocks and the trees that grew By the road were dim and blended and blue To the wild, wild eyes Of the rider - in size Resembling a couple of blackberry pies. Death laughed again, as a tomb might laugh At a burial service spoiled, And the mourners' intentions foiled By the body erecting Its head and objecting To further proceedings in its behalf.
Many a year and many a day Have passed since these events away. The monk has long been a dusty corse, And Death has never recovered his horse. For the friar got hold of its tail, And steered it within the pale Of the monastery gray, Where the beast was stabled and fed With barley and oil and bread Till fatter it grew than the fattest friar, And so in due course was appointed Prior.