They stood across the graveyard
Of those by temptation claimed
The tombs lay weeping, shroud in shadow
Each grave by a single word named.
It's the end of all, the world was empty,
No living thing breathed therein
The prophets and teachers were right all along!
Man had succumbed to sin.
They stood across the graveyard,
On one stone the word was Envy.
Some Wrath, Sloth, Greed, and Lust,
And some named Pride or Gluttony.
Now God looked on his world and cried,
"What's happened to my sheep?
Oh, angels, avenge my children dear,
and their souls are yours to keep."
So they stood across the graveyard,
Two armies of four and seven,
Humanities' greatest sins, sent by the devil himself,
And four horsemen, whispering, 'take them, take them.'
War charged first, and with two shots from his rifle
Brought Wrath and Envy to their knees.
Wrath's hate flowed out red and useless with his blood
And Envy's desire soon lost in the breeze.
Next came Pestilence, with her plaguing breath
Took Lust and Sloth asunder
Lust poisoned by the diseases passed through the ones she pleases,
And Sloth, by neglect, fell under.
From disease came Famine, and with his sickle
Claimed Gluttony and Greed for his own.
They ate and hoarded until all was gone
And with bellies full, hearts empty, died alone.
Six corpses lay on the graveyard still,
Though Pride stood tall, head high.
The blood of his friends stained his feet,
But he yet shouted taunts to the sky.
"Are you afraid to sting me, O Death?
The spirits of the others are free,
But what Empress of the Dead are you," he crowed,
"If you cannot kill me?"
Death was silent, though Pride could see
Her lips in a twisted grin.
She grabbed hold of his shoulder and spoke in his ear,
Her voice like a winter wind crawling in.
"What have I to fear?" Said the last of the four,
"You've done my work on your own.
You left your friends to die, you see,
And I thank you for challenging me alone."
Whilst speaking, from her cloak she drew
A simple kitchen knife.
With sudden force, she slit Pride's throat,
And away ebbed his life.
So Death went to her horse and left him there,
While Pride drew his last breath.
As the four horsemen abandoned the graves askew,
She whispered, "Not even pride conquers death."