Death, the great counsellor, who man inspires
With every nobler thought and fairer deed!
Death, the deliverer, who rescues man,
Death, the rewarder, who the rescued crowns!
Death, that absolves my birth, a curse without it!
Rich Death, that realises all my cares,
Toils, virtues, hopes; without it a chimera!
Death, of all pain the period, not of joy;
Joy's source and subject still subsist unhurt,
One in my soul and one in her great Sire,
Though the four winds were warring for my dust.
Yes, and from winds and waves and central night,
Though prisoned there, my dust I too reclaim,
To dust when drop proud Nature's proudest spheres,
And live entire. Death is the crown of life;
Were Death denied, poor man would live in vain:
Were Death denied, to live would not be life;
Were Death denied, e'en fools would wish to die.
Death wounds to cure: we fall: we rise: we reign!
Spring from our fetters; fasten in the skies:
When blooming Eden withers in our sight:
Death gives us more than was in Eden lost.
This king of terrors is the prince of peace.
When shall I die to vanity, pain, death?
When shall I die? When shall I live for ever?
-- Edward Young