He staggered in from night and frost and fog And lampless streets: he’d guzzled like a hog And drunk till he was dazed. And now he came To hear—he couldn’t call to mind the name— But he’d been given a ticket for the show, And thought he’d (hiccup) chance his luck and go.
The hall swam in his eyes, and soaring light Was dazzling splendid after the dank night. He sat and blinked, safe in his cushioned seat, And licked his lips; he’d like a brandy, neat.
‘Who is the King of Glory?’ they were saying, He pricked his ears; what was it? Were they praying?... By God, it might be Heaven! For singers stood Ranked in pure white; and everyone seemed good; And clergymen were sitting meekly round With joyful faces, drinking in the sound; And holy women, and plump whiskered men. Could this be Heaven? And was he dead? And then They all stood up; the mighty chorus broke In storms of song above those blameless folk; And ‘Hallelujah, Hallelujah!’ rang The burden of the triumph that they sang.
He gasped; it must be true; he’d got to Heaven With all his sins that seventy times were seven; And whispering ‘Hallelujah’ mid their shout, He wondered when Lord God would turn him out.