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Weep not for those whom the veil of the tomb
In life's happy morning hath hid from our eyes, Ere sin threw a blight o'er the spirit's young
bloom Or earth had profaned what was born for the
skies. MOORE—Song. Weep not for Those. How short is human life! the very breath Which frames my words accelerates my death.
HANNAH MORE-King Hezekiah.
3 Be happy while y'er leevin, For y'er a lang time deid. Scotch Motto for a house, in Notes and
Queries, Dec. 7, 1901. P. 469. Expression used by Bill NYE.
Expectanda dies homini est, dicique beatus
Man should ever look to his last day, and no one should be called happy before his funeral. OviD-Metamorphoses. III. 135.
Nec mihi mors gravis est posituro morte dolores.
Death is not grievous to me, for I shall lay aside my pains by death. OVID-Metamorphoses. III. 471.
Quocunque adspicias, nihil est nisi mortis imago.
Wherever you look there is nothing but the image of death. OVID-Tristium. I. 2. 23.
Death's but a path that must be trod,
PARNELL-A Night-Piece on Death. L. 67.
Death comes to all. His cold and sapless hand Waves o'er the world, and beckons us away. Who shall resist the summons?
THOMAS LOVE PEACOCK-Time.
At end of Love, at end of Life,
LOUISE CHANDLER MOULTON—At End.
5 There is rust upon locks and hinges,
And mould and blight on the walls, And silence faints in the chambers,
And darkness waits in the halls.
LOUISE CHANDLER MOULTON–House of Death. Two hands upon the breast,
And labor's done;
The race is won.
New England Primer. (1814) When you and I behind the Veil are past. OMAR KHAYYAM–Rubaiyat. St. 47. (Not in
first ed.) FITZGERALD's trans.
Nam vita morti propior est quotidie.
For life is nearer every day to death. PHÆDRUS-Fables. Bk. IV. 25. 10.
Strange-is it not?—that of the myriads who
(See also CATULLUS, HAMLET) And die with decency. THOMAS OTWAY-Venice Preserved. Act V.
Sc. 3. 11
Tendimus huc omnes; metam properamus ad unam. Omnia sub leges mors vocat atra suas.
We are all bound thither; we are hastening to the same common goal. Black death calls all things under the sway of its laws. OVID-Ad Liviam. 359.
Quem dii diligunt,
He whom the gods love dies young, whilst he is full of health, perception, and judgment. PLAUTUS—Bacchides. Act IV. 7. 18.
(See also BYRON) Omnibus a suprema die eadem, quæ ante primum; nec magis a morte sensus ullus aut corpori aut animæ quam ante natalem.
His last day places man in the same state as he was before he was born; nor after death has the body or soul any more feeling than they had before birth. Pliny the Elder-Historia Naturalis. LVI. 1.
Stulte, quid est somnus, gelidæ nisi mortis
imago? Longa quiescendi tempora fata dabunt.
De mortuis nil nisi bonum.
Concerning the dead nothing but good shall be spoken. PLUTARCH-Life of Solon. Given as a saying
of Solon. Attributed also to CHILO.
Come! let the burial rite be read
The funeral song be sung!-
That ever died so young-,
In that she died so young.
And, over each quivering form, The curtain, a funeral pall,
Comes down with the rush of a storm,
Uprising, unveiling, affirm
And its hero the Conqueror Worm.
PoE—The Conqueror Worm. St. 5. Tell me, my soul! can this be death? POPE-Dying Christian to His Soul. Pope at
tributes his inspiration to HADRIAN and to a Fragment of SAPPHO. See CROLY's ed. of POPE. (1835) THOMAS FLATMANThoughts on Death, a similar paraphrase, pub. 1674, before Pope was born.
Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little fold
ing of the hands to sleep.
I have said ye are gods . . . But ye shall die like men.
Psalms. LXXXII. 6. 7.
(See also YOUNG)
QUARLES-Emblems. Bk. V. Em. 7.
Je m'en vais chercher un grand peut-être; tirez le rideau, la farce est jouée.
I am going to seek a great perhaps; draw the curtain, the farce is played. Attributed to RABELAIS by tradition. From
MOTTEUX's Life of Rabelais. Quoted: "I am about to leap into the dark"; also Notice sur Rabelais in Euvres de F. Rabelais.
Paris, 1837. (See also BROWNE, BROWNING, CARLYLE, FLAT
MAN, HOBBES) 18 Et l'avare Achéron ne lâche pas sa proie.
And greedy Acheron does not relinquish its prey. RACINE–Phèdre. Act II. Sc. 5.
O eloquent, just, and mighty Death! whom none could advise, thou hast persuaded; what none hath dared, thou hast done; and whom all the world hath flattered, thou only hast cast out of the world and despised: thou hast drawn together all the far stretched greatness, all the pride, cruelty and ambition of man, and covered it all over with these two narrow words, Hic jacet! SIR WALTER RALEIGH—Historie of the World.
Bk. V. Pt. I. Ch. VI.
The world recedes; it disappears;
With sounds seraphic ring:
O Death! where is thy sting?
Vital spark of heavenly flame!
By foreign hands thy dying eyes were clos'd,
Lady. L. 51. 7 A heap of dust remains of thee; 'Tis all thou art, and all the proud shall be! 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!
POPE-Eloisa to Abelard. L. 323.
O Death, all eloquent! you only prove
POPE-Eloisa to Abelard. L. 355.
10 Till tired, he sleeps, and life's poor play is o'er.
POPE-Essay on Man. Ep. II. L. 282.
Teach him how to live, And, oh! still harder lesson! how to die.
BISHOP PORTEUS-Death. L. 316.
Hushed in the alabaster arms of Death,
Our young Marcellus sleeps.
Der lange Schlaf des Todes schliesst unsere Narben zu, und der kutze des Lebens unsere Wunden.
The long sleep of death closes our scars, and the short sleep of life our wounds. JEAN PAUL RICHTER-Hesperus. XX.
Those that he loved so long and sees no more,
(See also HENRY)
Her perfect peace.
His lights are out, his feast is done;
Is drained, is broken, cannot hold.
Soon the shroud shall lap thee fast,
SCOTT_Guy Mannering. Ch. XXVII.
Like the foam on the river,
Thou art gone, and for ever!
ALAN SEEGER-I Have a Rendezvous with Death.
16 So die as though your funeral
Ushered you through the doors that led
Where heroes banqueted.
When I am dead, my dearest,
Sing no sad songs for me;
No shady cypress tree.
Je m'em vais voir le soleil pour la dernière fois.
I go to see the sun for the last time. ROUSSEAU's last words.
Quid est enim novi, hominem mori, cujus tota vita nihil aliud quam ad mortem iter est?
What new thing then is it for a man to die, whose whole life is nothing else but a journey to death? SENECA—De Consol. ad Polyb. 30.
Ultimum malorum est ex vivorum numero exire antequam moriaris.
It is an extreme evil to depart from the company of the living before you die. SENECA-De Tranquilitate. Animi. 2.
19 Vivere nolunt, et mori nesciunt.
They will not live, and do not know how to die. SENECA-Epistles. IV.
20 Non amittuntur sed præmittuntur.
They are not lost but sent before. SENECA-Epistles. LXIII. 16. Early sources in CYPRIAN—De Mortalitate. S. XX.
(See also HENRY) 21 Stultitia est timore mortis mori. It is folly to die of the fear of death. SENECA-Epistles. LXIX.
Out of the chill and the shadow,
Into the thrill and the shine;
Into the fulness divine.
Day's lustrous eyes grow heavy in sweet death. SCHILLER-Assignation. St. 4. LORD LYT
Incertum est quo te loco mors expectet: itaque tu illam omni loco expecta.
It is uncertain in what place death may await thee; therefore expect it in any place. SENECA-Epistolæ Ad Lucilium. XXVI.
Und setzet ihr nicht das Leben ein,
If you do not dare to die you will never win life. SCHILLER—Wallenstein's Lager. XI. Chorus.
11 Gut' Nacht, Gordon. Ich denke einen langen Schlaf zu thun.
Good night, Gordon. I am thinking of taking a long sleep. SCHILLER—Wallenstein's Tod. V. 5. 85.
Haste thee, haste thee, to be gone! Earth flits fast and time draws on: Gasp thy gasp, and groan thy groan! Day is near the breaking.
Eripere vitam nemo non homini potest;
Any one may take life from man, but no one death; a thousand gates stand open to it. SENECA-Phonissce. CLII.
Death's pale flag advanced in his cheeks.
(See also ROMEO AND JULIET)
Cymbeline. Act IV. Sc. 2. Song. L. 262.
A' made a finer end and went away an it had been any christom child; a' parted even just between twelve and one, e'en at the turning o' th' tide: for after I saw him fumble with the sheets, and play with flowers, and smile upon his fingers' ends, I knew there was but one way; for his nose was as sharp as a pen, and a' babbled of green fields. "How now, Sir John?" quoth I: what, man! be o good cheer.” So a' cried out"God, God, God!" three or four times. Now I, to comfort him, bid him a' should not think of God; I hoped there was no need to trouble himself with any such thoughts yet.
Henry V. Act II. Sc. 3. L. 12.
17 Ah, what a sign it is of evil life, Where death's approach is seen so terrible!
Henry VI. Pt. II. Act III. Sc. 3. L. 5. He dies, and makes no sign. Henry VI. Pt. II. Act III. Sc. 3. L. 28.
My sick heart shows That I must yield my body to the earth, And, by my fall
, the conquest to my foe. Thus yields the cedar to the axe's edge, Whose arms gave shelter to the princely eagle; Under whose shade the ramping lion slept: Whose top-branch overpeer'd Jove's spreading
tree, And kept low shrubs from winter's powerful
wind. Henry VI. Pt. III. Act V. Sc. 2. L. 8.
To die:—to sleep: No more; and, by a sleep to say we end The heart-ache and the thousand natural
shocks That flesh is heir to, 'tis a consummation Devoutly to be wished.
Hamlet. Act III. Sc. 1. L. 60.
For in that sleep of death what dreams may
come. Hamlet. Act III. Sc. 1. L. 66.
I am a tainted wether of the flock,
Merchant of Venice. Act IV. Sc. 1. L. 114.
Here is my journey's end, here is my butt,
Othello. Act V. Sc. 2. L. 267.
Death, death; oh, amiable, lovely death!
King John. Act III. Sc. 4. L. 34.
King John. Act IV. Sc. 2. L. 82.
King John. Act V. Sc. 4. L. 22.
Woe, destruction, ruin, and decay;
Richard II. Act III. Sc. 2. L. 102.
Let's choose executors and talk of wills:
Richard II. Act III. Sc. 2. L. 148.
0, our lives' sweetness! Nothing can we call our own but death That we the pain of death would hourly die And that small model of the barren earth Rather than die at once!
Which serves as paste and cover to our bones. King Lear. Act V. Sc. 3. L. 184.
Richard II. Act III. Sc. 2. L. 152.
Within the hollow crown
That rounds the mortal temples of a king, Macbeth. Act I, Sc. 4. L. 7
Keeps Death his court; and there the antic sits, 7
Scoffing his state and grinning at his pomp. After life's fitful fever, he sleeps well;
Richard II. Act III. Sc. 2. L. 161.
And there at Venice gave
His body to that pleasant country's earth, Macbeth. Act III. Sc. 2. L. 23.
And his pure soul unto his captain Christ,
Richard II. Act IV. Sc. 1. L. 97.
Go thou, and fill another room in hell.
That band shall burn in never-quenching fire, 9 What's yet in this,
That staggers thus my person. Exton, thy That bears the name of life? Yet in this life
fierce hand Lie hid more thousand deaths: yet death we fear, Hath with thy king's blood stain'd the king's That makes these odds all even.
own land. Measure for Measure. Act III. Sc. 1. L. 38 Mount, mount, my soul! thy seat is up on high; Dar'st thou die?
Whilst my gross flesh sinks downward, here to die.
Richard II. Act V. Sc. 5. L. 107.
Who pass'd, methought, the melancholy flood As when a giant dies.
With that grim ferryman which poets write of,
Unto the kingdom of perpetual night. Measure for Measure. Act III. Sc. 1. L. 77
Richard III. Act I. Sc. 4. L. 45. 11
If I must die
'Tis a vile thing to die, my gracious lord, And hug it in mine arms.
When men are unprepared and look not for it. Measure for Measure. Act III. Sc. 1. L. 83. Richard III. Act III. Sc. 2. L. 64. Ay, but to die, and go we know not where; Death lies on her, like an untimely frost To lie in cold obstruction and to rot.
Upon the sweetest flower of all the field. Measure for Measure. Act III. Sc. 1. L. Romeo and Juliet. Act IV. Sc. 5. L. 28.
How oft, when men are at the point of death, To be imprison'd in the viewless winds,
Have they been merry! which their keepers call And blown with restless violence roundabout A lightning before death. The pendent world; or to be worse than worst Romeo and Juliet. Act V. Sc. 3. L. 88. Of those, that lawless and incertain thought Imagine howling; 'tis too horrible!
Death, that hath suck'd the honey of thy Measure for Measure. Act III. Sc. 1. L. 124. breath, 14
Hath had no power yet upon thy beauty; The weariest and most loathed worldly life Thou art not conquer'd; beauty's ensign yet Thaf age, ache, penury and imprisonment Is crimson in thy lips, and in thy cheeks, Can lay on nature, is a paradise
And death's pale flag is not advanced there. To what we fear of death.
Romeo and Juliet. Act V. Sc. 3. L. 92. Measure for Measure. Act III. Sc. 1. L. 129.
(See also SEVEN CHAMPIONS)