Part I
Stop, boy! The solider bade –
What’s this, why do you run?
You mustn’t be so afraid –
Of this soldier’s voice and this soldier’s gun.
But the kid looked past him, at the sky
I’m chasing my Death he said,
To wherever it may fly,
I’ve got many long years ahead,
But that’s my choice,
I’ve made my bed.
And the barefoot lad ran away.

Part II
Little master, little master!
The elderly mothers cried —
Surely you cannot run any faster?
Now tell me, who has died?
But the boy kept his pace along the street.
It’s not for healthy life my dears,
But my Death I run to meet.
Such a silly, selfish child! they cried.
Come home, live with us,
For that will allay our fears.
Yet still the boy ran on and on.

Part III
Do you need money? The businessman asked,
With legs like that,
You’ll get promoted fast.
But the youth passed the man where he sat,
Then turned around and hollered back,
I’m too busy, too selfish to earn my bread,
You’ll only give me the sack,
Or go and break my head.
The businessman turned to make reply,
But the words were left unsaid,
For the boy had gone.

Part IV
Boy, well you finally caught us,
Intoned his death,
Now tell me why you sought us.
The lad stuttered, out of breath,
I had not much left,
The young man added at last,
So I’ve come to address your theft,
Of all that I had that’s passed.
His death just laughed,
Well hasn’t that come round fast,
And took the boy by the shoulder.

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