It is written that the last enemy to be vanquished is death. We should begin early in life to vanquish this enemy by obliterating every trace of the fear of death from our minds. Then can we turn to life and fill the whole horizon of our souls with it, turn with added zest to all the serious tasks which it imposes and to the pure delights which here and there it affords. .
Let us learn from the lips of death the lessons of life. Let us live truly while we live, live for what is true and good and lasting. And let the memory of our dead help us to do this. For they are not wholly separated from us, if we remain loyal to them. In spirit they are with us. And we may think of them as silent, invisible, but real presences in our households. .
The bitter, yet merciful, lesson which death teaches us is to distinguish the gold from the tinsel, the true values from the worthless chaff. The terrible events of life are great eye-openers. They force us to learn that which it is wholesome for us to know, but which habitually we try to ignore — namely, that really we have no claim on a long life; that we are each of us liable to be called off at any moment, and that the main point is not how long we live, but with what meaning we fill the short allotted span — for short it is at best. .
Somewhere, in desolate, wind-swept space, In twilight land, in no mans land, Two hurrying shapes met face to face And bade each other stand. And who are you? cried one, a-gape, Shuddering in the glimmering light. I know not, said the second shape, I only died last night. .
He who died at Azan sends This to comfort all his friends: Faithful friends! It lies I know Pale and white and cold as snow; And ye say, Abdallahs dead! Weeping at the feet and head. I can see your falling tears, I can hear your sighs and prayers; Yet I smile and whisper this: I am not the thing you kiss. Cease your tears and let it lie; It was mine—it is not I. .
The death-change comes. Death is another life. We bow our heads At going out, we think, and enter straight Another golden chamber of the kings, Larger than this we leave, and lovelier. And then in shadowy glimpses, disconnect, The story, flower-like, closes thus its leaves. The will of God is all in all. He makes, Destroys, remakes, for His own pleasure, all. .
To me the honour is sufficient of belonging to the universe — such a great universe, and so grand a scheme of things. Not even Death can rob me of that honour. For nothing can alter the fact that I have lived; I have been I, if for ever so short a time. And when I am dead, the matter which composes my body is indestructible — and eternal, so that come what may to my Soul, my dust will always be going on, each separate atom of me playing its separate part — I shall still have some sort of a finger in the pie. When I am dead, you can boil me, burn me, drown me, scatter me — but you cannot destroy me: my little atoms would merely deride such heavy vengeance. Death can do no more than kill you. .
When we come to die, we shall be alone. From all our worldly possessions we shall be about to part. Worldly friends — the friends drawn to us by our position, our wealth, or our social qualities, — will leave us as we enter the dark valley. From those bound to us by stronger ties — our kindred, our loved ones, children, brothers, sisters, and from those not less dear to us who have been made our friends because they and we are the friends of the same Saviour, — from them also we must part. Yet not all will leave us. There is One who sticketh closer than a brother — One who having loved His own which are in the world loves them to the end. .
What a power has Death to awe and hush the voices of this earth! How mute we stand when that presence confronts us, and we look upon the silence he has wrought in a human life! We can only gaze, and bow our heads, and creep with our broken, stammering utterances under the shelter of some great word which God has spoken, and in which we see through the history of human sorrow the outstretching and overshadowing of the eternal arms. .
Dear brethren, our ship is sailing fast. We shall soon hear the rasping of the shallows, and the commotion overhead which bespeaks the port in view. When it comes to that, how will you feel? Are you a stranger, or a convict, or are you going home? Brethren, we are all sailing home; and by and by, when we are not thinking of it, some shadowy thing men call it death, at midnight, will pass by, and will call us by name, and will say, I have a message for you from home; God wants you; heaven waits for you. .
How shocking must thy summons be, O Death! To him that is at ease in his possessions! Who, counting on long years of pleasure here, Is quite unfurnished for the world to come! In that dread moment, how the frantic soul Raves round the walls of her clay tenement; Runs to each avenue, and shrieks for help; But shrieks in vain. .
All our times have come Here but now theyre gone Seasons dont fear the reaper Nor do the wind, the sun or the rain we can be like they are Come on baby dont fear the reaper Baby take my hand dont fear the reaper Well be able to fly dont fear the reaper Baby Im your man .
Everyone must leave something behind when he dies, my grandfather said. A child or a book or a painting or a house or a wall built or a pair of shoes made. Or a garden planted. Something your hand touched some way so your soul has somewhere to go when you die, and when people look at that tree or that flower you planted, youre there. It doesnt matter what you do, he said, so as long as you change something from the way it was before you touched it into something thats like you after you take your hands away. .
Mid youth and song, feasting and carnival, Through laughter, through the roses, as of old Comes Death, on shadowy and relentless feet Death, unappeasable by prayer or gold; Death is the end, the end. Proud, then, clear-eyed and laughing, go to greet Death as a friend! .
Dying visions of angels and Christ and God and heaven are confined to credibly good men. Why do not bad men have such visions? They die of all sorts of diseases; they have nervous temperaments; they even have creeds and hopes about the future which they cling to with very great tenacity; why do not they rejoice in some such glorious illusions when they go out of the world? .
For all that let me tell thee, brother Panza, said Don Quixote, that there is no recollection which time does not put an end to, and no pain which death does not remove. And what greater misfortune can there be, replied Panza, than the one that waits for time to put an end to it and death to remove it? .
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