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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 ]

An honorable death is better than a dishonorable life.
  [Lat., Honesta mors turpi vita potior.]
      - Tacitus (Caius Cornelius Tacitus),
        Agricola (XXXIII)

Trust not your own powers till the day of your death.
      - The Talmud, Aboth (2)

Death is not rare, alas! nor burials few,
  And soon the grassy coverlet of God
    Spreads equal green above their ashes pale.
      - Bayard Taylor, The Picture of St. John
         (bk. III, st. 84)

Death bath no advantage but where it comes a stranger.
      - Jeremy Taylor

Death reigns in all the portions of our time. The autumn with its fruits provides disorders for us, and the winter's cold turns them into sharp diseases, and the spring brings flowers to strew our hearse, and the summer gives green turf and brambles to bind upon our graves. Calentures and surfeit, cold and agues, are the four quarters of the year, and all minister to death; and you can go no whither but you tread upon a dead man's bones.
      - Jeremy Taylor

For the death of the righteous is like the descending of ripe and wholesome fruits from a pleasant and florid tree. Our senses entire, our limbs unbroken, without horrid tortures; after provision made for our children, with a blessing entailed upon posterity, in the presence of our friends, our dearest relatives closing our eyes and binding our feet, leaving a good name behind us.
      - Jeremy Taylor

I have often thought of death, and I find it the least of all evils.
      - Jeremy Taylor

Of all the evils of the world which are reproached with an evil character, death is the most innocent of its accusation.
      - Jeremy Taylor

We so converse every night with the image of death that every morning we find an argument of the resurrection. Sleep and death have but one mother, and they have one name in common.
      - Jeremy Taylor

He that would die well must always look for death, every day knocking at the gates of the grave; and then the gates of the grave shall never prevail upon him to do him mischief.
      - Jeremy Taylor, Holy Dying (ch. II, pt. I)

Do we not all, in this very hour, recall a death-bed scene in which some loved one has passed away? And, as we bring to mind the solemn reflections of that hour, are we not ready to hear and to heed the voice with which a dying wife once addressed him who stood sobbing by her side: "My dear husband, live for one thing, and only one thing; just one thing,--the glory of God, the glory of God!"
      - Edward Payton Tenney

Every man at time of Death,
  Would fain set forth some saying that may live
    After his death and better humankind;
      For death gives life's last word a power to live,
        And, lie the stone-cut epitaph, remain
          After the vanished voice, and speak to men.
      - Lord Alfred Tennyson

The shadow cloak'd from head to foot,
  Who keeps the keys of all the creeds.
      - Lord Alfred Tennyson

But O! for the touch of a vanish'd hand,
  And the sound of a voice that is still!
      - Lord Alfred Tennyson, Break, Break, Break

For tho' from out for bourne of Time and Place
  The flood may bear me far,
    I hope to see my Pilot face to face
      When I have crossed the bar.
      - Lord Alfred Tennyson, Crossing the Bar

Sunset and evening star,
  And one clear call for me!
    And may there be no moaning of the bar
      When I put out to sea.
      - Lord Alfred Tennyson, Crossing the Bar

Twilight and evening bell,
  And after that the dark!
    And may there be no sadness of farewell
      When I embark.
      - Lord Alfred Tennyson, Crossing the Bar

Death has made
  His darkness beautiful with thee.
      - Lord Alfred Tennyson, In Memoriam (LXXIV)

God's finger touched him, and he slept.
      - Lord Alfred Tennyson, In Memoriam (LXXXV)

The great world's altar stairs
  That slope through darkness up to God.
      - Lord Alfred Tennyson, In Memoriam (pt. LV)

The night comes on that knows not morn,
  When I shall cease to be all alone,
    To live forgotten, and love forlorn.
      - Lord Alfred Tennyson, Mariana in the South
         (last stanza)

Whatever crazy sorrow saith,
  No life that breathes with human breath
    Has ever truly long'd for death.
      - Lord Alfred Tennyson, Two Voices (st. 132)

Dead men bite not.
      - Theodotus,
        when counselling the death of Pompey

Do not go gentle into that good night,
  Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
      Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
        Because their words had forked no lightning they
          Do not go gentle into that good night.
            Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
              Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
                Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
                  Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
                    And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
                      Do not go gentle into that good night.
                        Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
                          Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
                            Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
                              And you, my father, there on the sad height,
                                Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
                                  Do not go gentle into that good night.
                                    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
      - Dylan Thomas,
        Do Not Go Gentle into that Good Night

To die, I own, is a dread passage--terrible to nature, chiefly to those who have, like me, been happy.
      - James Thomson (1)


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