And he invited all his friends, and gentry of the best.
“Some meat and drink, brother, Diverus, bestow upon the poor.”
“Thou’rt none of my brothers, Lazarus, that liest begging at my door;
“No meat, nor drink will I give thee, nor bestow upon the poor.”
Then Lazarus laid him down and down, all under Dives’ wall:
Some meat, some drink, brother Diverus, for hunger starve I shall.”
“Thou’rt none of my brothers, Lazarus, that liest begging at my gate;
“No meat, no drink will I give thee, for Jesus Christ His sake.”
Then Dives sent out his hungry dogs, to bite him as he lay;
They hadn’t the power to bite one bite, but licked his sores away.
Then Dives sent to his merry men, to worry poor Lazarus away;
They’d not the power to strike one stroke, but flung their whips away.
As it fell out upon one day, poor Lazarus sickened and died;
There came two angels out of Heaven, his soul therein to guide.
“Rise up! Rise up! Brother Lazarus, and go along with me;
“For you’ve a place prepared in Heaven, to sit upon on an angel’s knee.”
As it fell out upon one day, rich Dives sickened and died;
There came two serpents out of hell, his soul therein to guide.
“Rise up! Rise up! Brother Diverus, and come along with me;
“There is a place provided in hell for wicked men like thee.”
Then Dives looked up with his eyes and saw poor Lazarus blest;
“Give me one drop of water, Brother Lazarus, to quench my flaming thirst.”
“O, was I now but alive again the space of one half hour!
“O, that I had my peace again then the devil should have no power.”
Source: A traditional English carol, possibly from Herefordshire, set to music and arranged by Ralph Vaughan Williams, c. 1920; found online.