Anthony M. Ludovici
The New English Weekly 5, 1934, p. 323
Reprinted in Religion for Infidels, pp. 134135 *
Post no priest beside my litter,
Carve no cross upon my bier!
As a Christophobist bitter
Let me pass unchurched from here!
Sing no hymns when I am buried,
Put no pennies in my palm!
I'll not clamour to be ferried
To the shore of peace and balm.
Thither should I drift, however,
And behold with some surprise
Things I thought existed never,
I shall not cast down my eyes.
Theirs the blame whose Word deceived me,
Baffling reason, thought and sense,
And whose diffidence bereaved me
Of the final evidence.
Even if I be instructed
To appear before the throne,
Whence a godhead has conducted
World affairs since time unknown,
If moreover he engages
His recording angel there,
To recite a few score pages
Of my sins, let him beware!
I will range his whole creation,
From the tapeworm to the fly,
And expect his explanation
As to why, and why, and why?
So invoke no Heaven's Daughter
When I'm laid below the sward,
And don't waste your holy water
On my oak-stained coffin-board!
* Ludovici amended this poem in Religion for Infidels: "I shan't" instead of "I'll not", "land" instead of "shore", "await" instead of "expect", and "beneath" instead of "below".