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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 ]

I passed (methought) the melancholy flood,
  With that sour ferryman which poets write of,
    Unto the kingdom of perpetual night.
      - William Shakespeare,
        The Tragedy of King Richard the Third
         (Clarence at I, iv)

'Tis a vile thing to die, my gracious lord,
  When men are unprepared and look not for it.
      - William Shakespeare,
        The Tragedy of King Richard the Third
         (Catesby at III, ii)

Come away, come away, death,
  And in sad cypress let me be laid.
    Fly away, fly away, breath;
      I am slain by a fair cruel maid.
        My shroud of white, stuck all with yew,
          O, prepare it.
            My part of death, no one so true
              Did share it.
      - William Shakespeare,
        Twelfth Night, or, What You Will
         (Singers at II, iv), a song

This youth that you see here
  I snatched one half out of the jaws of death;
    Relieved him with such sanctity of love,
      And to his image, which methought did promise
        Most venerable worth, die I devotion.
      - William Shakespeare,
        Twelfth Night, or, What You Will
         (Antonio at III, iv)

'O Jove,' quoth she, 'how much a fool was I
  To be of such a weak and silly mind
    To wail his death who lives, and must not die
      Till mutual overthrow of mortal kind!
        For he being dead, with him is beauty slain,
          And, beauty dead, black chaos comes again.
      - William Shakespeare, Venus and Adonis
         (l. 1,015)

In the arts of life man invents nothing; but in the arts of death he outdoes Nature herself, and produces by chemistry and machinery all the slaughter of plague, pestilence and famine.
      - George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman

Life levels all men: death reveals the eminent.
      - George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman

Death will come when thou art dead, soon, too soon.
      - Percy Bysshe Shelley

First our pleasures die--and then
  Our hopes, and then our fears--and when
    These are dead, the debt is due,
      Dust claims dust--and we die too.
      - Percy Bysshe Shelley, Death

The babe is at peace with the womb,
  The corpse is at rest within the tomb.
    We begin in what we end.
      - Percy Bysshe Shelley, Fragments

All buildings are but monuments of death,
  All clothes but winding-sheets for our last knell,
    All dainty fattings for the worms beneath,
      All curious music but our passing bell:
        Thus death is nobly waited on, for why?
          All that we have is but death's livery.
      - James Shirley

Death lays his icy hand on kings.
      - James Shirley

The glories of our blood and state
  Are shadows, not substantial things;
    There is no armour against fate,
      Death lays his icy hand on kings.
        Scepter and crown
          Must tumble down,
            And, in the dust, be equal made
              With the poor crooked scythe and spade.
      - James Shirley,
        Contention of Ajax and Ulysses (sc. 3)

Death calls ye to the crowd of common men.
      - James Shirley, Cupid and Death

He that on his pillow lies,
  Fear-embalmed before he dies
    Carries, like a sheep, his life,
      To meet the sacrificer's knife,
        And for eternity is prest,
          Sad bell-wether to the rest.
      - James Shirley, The Passing Bell

Who knows we have not lived before
  In forms that felt delight, and pain?
    If death is not the open door
      Through which we pass to life again?
      - David Banks Sickels

Death without phrases.
  [Lat., La mort sans phrase.]
      - Count Emmanuel Joseph Sieyes,
        voting for the death of Louis XVI, but denied by him

Yet 'twill only be a sleep:
  When, with songs and dewy light,
    Morning blossoms out of Night,
      She will open her blue eyes
        'Neath the palms of Paradise,
          While we foolish ones shall weep.
      - Edward Rowland Sill, Sleeping

Who is it that called time the avenger, yet failed to see that death was the consoler. What mortal afflictions are there to which death does not bring full remedy? What hurts of hope and body does it not repair? "This is a sharp medicine," said Raleigh, speaking of the axe, "but it cures all disorders."
      - William Gilmore Simms

We count it death to falter, not to die.
      - Simonides of Ceos, Jacobs I (63, 20)

Dead is she? No; rather let us call ourselves dead, who tire so soon in the service of the Master whom she has gone to serve forever.
      - W.S. Smart

Death is the ugly fact which Nature has to hide, and she hides it well.
      - Alexander Smith

To have to die is a distinction of which no man is proud.
      - Alexander Smith

We bury love,
  Forgetfulness grows over it like grass;
    That is a thing to weep for, not the dead.
      - Alexander Smith, City Poems--A Boy's Poem
         (pt. III)

To our graves we walk
  In the thick footprints of departed men.
      - Alexander Smith, Horton (l. 570)


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