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DEATH
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[ Also see Abortion Bereavement Birth Calmness Death of Babies Death of Children Death of Christ Decay End Epitaphs Eternity Execution Farewell Funerals Futurity Graves Grief Guillotine Heaven Hell Immortality Killing Life Monuments Mortality Mourning Murder Oblivion Parting Poison Punishment Rest Resurrection Resurrection of Christ Retribution Scaffold Sleep Suicide Tears Undertakers Wills ]

He whom the gods love dies young, whilst he is full of health, perception, and judgment.
  [Lat., Quem dii diligunt,
    Adolescens moritur, dum valet, sentit, sapit.]
      - Plautus (Titus Maccius Plautus), Bacchides
         (act IV, 7, 18)

A short death is the sovereign good hap of human life.
      - Pliny the Elder (Caius Plinius Secundus)

His last day places man in the same state as he was before he was born; not after death has the body or soul any more feeling than they had before birth.
  [Lat., Omnibus a suprema die eadem, quae ante primum; nec magis a morte sensus ullus aut corpori aut animae quam ante natalem.]
      - Pliny the Elder (Caius Plinius Secundus),
        Historia Naturalis (LVI, 1)

What can they suffer that do not fear to die?
      - Plutarch

Concerning the dead nothing but good shall be spoken.
  [Lat., De mortuis nil nisi bonum.]
      - Plutarch, Life of Solon,
        given as a saying of Solon

Come! let the burial rite be read--
  The funeral song be sung!--
    An anthem for the queenliest dead
      That ever died so young--
        A dirge for her, the doubly dead
          In that she died so young.
      - Edgar Allan Poe, Lenore (st. 1)

Out--out are the lights--out all!
  And, over each quivering form,
    The curtain, a funeral pall,
      Comes down with the rush of a storm,
        And the angels, all pallid and wan,
          Uprising, unveiling, affirm
            That the play is the tragedy, "Man,"
              And its hero the Conqueror Worm.
      - Edgar Allan Poe, The Conqueror Worm
         (st. 5)

The hour conceal'd and so remote the fear,
  Death still draws nearer, never seeming near.
      - Alexander Pope

Tired he sleeps, and life's poor play is o'er.
      - Alexander Pope

Tell me, my soul! can this be death?
      - Alexander Pope,
        Dying Christian to His Soul,
        Pope attributes his inspiration to Hadrian and to a Fragment of Sappho

By foreign hands thy dying eyes were clos'd.
  By foreign hands thy decent limbs compos'd,
    By foreign hands thy humble grave adorn'd,
      By strangers honour'd, and by strangers mourn'd.
      - Alexander Pope,
        Elegy to the Memory of an Unfortunate Lady
         (l. 51)

A heap of dust remains of thee;
  'Tis all thou art, and all the proud shall be!
      - Alexander Pope,
        Elegy to the Memory of an Unfortunate Lady
         (l. 73)

See my lips tremble and my eyeballs roll,
  Suck my last breath, and catch my flying soul!
      - Alexander Pope, Eloisa to Abelard (l. 323)

O Death, all eloquent! you only prove
  What dust we dote on, when 'tis man we love.
      - Alexander Pope, Eloisa to Abelard (l. 355)

Till tired, he sleeps, and life's poor play is o'er.
      - Alexander Pope, Essay on Man
         (ep. II, l. 282)

But thousands die without or this or that,
  Die, and endow a college of a cat.
      - Alexander Pope, Moral Essays
         (ep. III, l. 95)

The world recedes; it disappears;
  Heav'n opens on my eyes; my ears
    With sounds seraphic ring:
      Lend, lend your wings! I mount! I fly!
        O Grave! where is thy victory?
          O Death! where is thy sting?
      - Alexander Pope,
        The Dying Christian to His Soul

Vital spark of heav'nly flame!
  Quit, oh quit, this mortal frame!
    Trembling, hoping, ling'ring, flying,
      Oh, the pain, the bliss of dying! . . .
        Hark! they whisper; angels say,
          Sister Spirit, come away!
      - Alexander Pope,
        The Dying Christian to His Soul,
        paraphrase of Emperor Hadrian's "Ode of the Christian to His Soul" in the "Spectator", Nov. 15, 1711

Vital spark of heavenly flame!
      - Alexander Pope,
        The Dying Christian to His Soul

Friend to the wretch whom every friend forsakes, I woo thee, Death! Life and its joys I leave to those that prize them. Hear me, 0 gracious God! At Thy good time let Death approach; I reck not, let him but come in genuine form, not with Thy vengeance armed, too much for man to bear.
      - Bishop Beilby Porteus

Teach him how to live,
  And, oh! still harder lesson! how to die.
      - Bishop Beilby Porteus, Death (l. 316)

And when obedient nature, knows his will,
  A fly, a grapestone, or a hair can kill.
      - Matthew Prior

Yet tell me, frighted senses! what is death?
  Blood only stopp'd, and interrupted breath;
    The utmost limit of a narrow span,
      And end of motion, which with life began,
        And smoke that rises from the kindling fires
          Is seen this moment and the next expires;
            As empty clouds by rising winds are toss'd
              Their fleeting forms scarce sooner found than lost.
      - Matthew Prior

Beauty is fading, nor is fortune stable; sooner or later death comes to all.
      - Sextus Aurelius Propertius

That death is best which comes appropriately at a ripe age.
      - Sextus Aurelius Propertius


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