I do not believe in death

I do not believe in death: I die by the hour, each day
And I have found a better life this way

English version by Gabriel Rosenstock
Original Language German

by Angelus Silesius.

A Thought Of Seneca


Death! I have no cause to fear you!
Safe my path through life I tread;
If I'm Here, then I'm not near you,
If you are here, then I am dead.

by Jens Baggesen.

WEEP, maiden, weep here o'er the tomb of Love;

He died of nothing--by mere chance was slain.
But is he really dead?--oh, that I cannot prove:

A nothing, a mere chance, oft gives him life again.

by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

Our death is in the cool of night,
our life is in the pool of day.
The darkness glows, I’m drowning,
the day has tired me with light.

Over my head in leaves grown deep,
sings the young nightingale.
It only sings of love there,
I hear it in my sleep.

by Heinrich Heine.

Lines Written On Hearing Of The Death Of Charles I.

Great, good, and just! could I but rate
My griefs to thy too rigid fate,
I'd weep the world to such a strain,
As it would deluge once again:
But since thy loud-tongued blood demands supplies,
More from Briareus' hands than Argus' eyes,
I'll sing thy obsequies with trumpet sounds,
And write thy epitaph with blood and wounds.

by James Graham.

Death Is A Fisherman

Death is a fisherman, the world we see
His fish-pond is, and we the fishes be;
His net some general sickness; howe'er he
Is not so kind as other fishers be;
For if they take one of the smaller fry,
They throw him in again, he shall not die:
But death is sure to kill all he can get,
And all is fish with him that comes to net.

by Benjamin Franklin.

Adrian's Address To His Soul When Dying

Ah! gentle, fleeting, wav'ring sprite,
Friend and associate of this clay!
To what unknown region borne,
Wilt thou now wing thy distant flight?
No more with wonted humour gay,
But pallid, cheerless, and forlorn.

[Animula! vagula, blandula,
Hospes comesque corporis,
Quæ nunc abibis in loca--
Pallidula, rigida, nudula,
Nec, ut soles, dabis jocos?]

by George Gordon Byron.

Upon The Death Of The Viscount Of Dundee

O last and best of Scots! who didst maintain
Thy country's freedom from a foreign reign;
New people fill the land now thou art gone,
New gods the temples, and new kings the throne.
Scotland and thou did each in other live;
Nor wouldst thou her, nor could she thee survive.
Farewell! who, dying, didst support the state,
And couldst not fall but with thy country's fate.

by John Dryden.

Anacreon's Grave

HERE where the roses blossom, where vines round the laurels are twining,
Where the turtle-dove calls, where the blithe cricket is heard,
Say, whose grave can this be, with life by all the Immortals

Beauteously planted and deck'd?--Here doth Anacreon sleep
Spring and summer and autumn rejoiced the thrice-happy minstrel,
And from the winter this mound kindly hath screen'd him at last.

by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

The Death Of The Fly

WITH eagerness he drinks the treach'rous potion,

Nor stops to rest, by the first taste misled;
Sweet is the draught, but soon all power of motion

He finds has from his tender members fled;
No longer has he strength to plume his wing,
No longer strength to raise his head, poor thing!
E'en in enjoyment's hour his life he loses,
His little foot to bear his weight refuses;
So on he sips, and ere his draught is o'er,
Death veils his thousand eyes for evermore.

by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

In thee I fondly hoped to clasp
A friend whom death alone could sever;
Till envy, with malignant grasp,
Detach'd thee from my breast for ever.

True, she has forced thee from my breast,
Yet in my heart thou keep'st thy seat;
There, there thine image still must rest,
Until that heart shall cease to beat.

And when the grave restored her dead,
When life again to dust is given,
On thy dear breast I'll lay my head--
Without thee where would be my heaven?

February 1803

by George Gordon Byron.

The Poet's Death

The world is taking little heed
And plods from day to day:
The vulgar flourish like a weed,
The learned pass away.

We miss him on the summer path
The lonely summer day,
Where mowers cut the pleasant swath
And maidens make the hay.

The vulgar take but little heed;
The garden wants his care;
There lies the book he used to read,
There stands the empty chair.

The boat laid up, the voyage oer,
And passed the stormy wave,
The world is going as before,
The poet in his grave.

by John Clare.

By A Dismal Cypress Lying: A Song From The Italian

By a dismal cypress lying,
Damon cried, all pale and dying,
Kind is death that ends my pain,
But cruel she I lov'd in vain.
The mossy fountains
Murmur my trouble,
And hollow mountains
My groans redouble:
Ev'ry nymph mourns me,
Thus while I languish;
She only scorns me,
Who caus'd my anguish.
No love returning me, but all hope denying;
By a dismal cypress lying,
Like a swan, so sung he dying:
Kind is death that ends my pain,
But cruel she I lov'd in vain.

by John Dryden.

Why The Roses Are So Pale

O dearest, canst thou tell me why
The rose should be so pale?
And why the azure violet
Should wither in the vale?

And why the lark should in the cloud
So sorrowfully sing?
And why from loveliest balsam-buds
A scent of death should spring?

And why the sun upon the mead
So chillingly should frown?
And why the earth should, like a grave,
Be moldering and brown?

And why it is that I myself
So languishing should be?
And why it is, my heart of hearts,
That thou forsakest me?

by Heinrich Heine.

Stanzas On The Taking Of Quebec And The Death Of General Wolfe

AMIDST the clamour of exulting joys,
Which triumph forces from the patriot heart,
Grief dares to mingle her soul-piercing voice,
And quells the raptures which from pleasures start.

O WOLFE! to thee a streaming flood of woe,
Sighing we pay, and think e'en conquest dear;
QUEBEC in vain shall teach our breast to glow,
Whilst thy sad fate extorts the heart-wrung tear.

Alive the foe thy dreadful vigour fled,
And saw thee fall with joy-pronouncing eyes:
Yet they shall know thou conquerest, though dead-
Since from thy tomb a thousand heroes rise!

by Oliver Goldsmith.

Einst Sah Ich Viele

I saw a crowd of flowers in bloom,
On my way: too lazy of course
To stir myself and pick them too,
I rode on by, on my proud horse.
Now, when I’m wretched and I’m dying,
Now, when my grave’s already aired,
Often in memory, painful, mocking,
The scent of flowers I scorned is there.
One, especially, of fiery yellow,
A violet, burns inside my head,
How I regret I never fully
Had that sweetheart in her bed.
My solace: Lethe’s water can
Even now, not lacking in its powers,
Refresh the foolish heart of Man,
With sweet forgetful midnight hours.

by Heinrich Heine.

An Epitaph On My Dear And Ever Honoured Mother Mrs. Dorothy Dudley, Who Deceased Decemb. 27. 1643. A

A worthy Matron of unspotted life,
A loving Mother and obedient wife,
A friendly Neighbor, pitiful to poor,
Whom oft she fed, and clothed with her store;
To Servants wisely aweful, but yet kind,
And as they did, so they reward did find:
A true Instructer of her Family,
The which she ordered with dexterity.
The publick meetings ever did frequent,
And in her Closet constant hours she spent;
Religious in all her words and wayes,
Preparing still for death, till end of dayes:
Of all her Children, Children, liv'd to see,
Then dying, left a blessed memory.

by Anne Bradstreet.

Lights in the world are those, who know,
Guides of mankind are those, who know
When looking for the road to God
And prophet, ask from those, who know
The alchemist in his research
Finds sympathy with those, who know
A desert stone will turn to gold
In company with those, who know
An ignorant is like a corpse,
Like Jesus Christ are those, who know
For by His breath the dead arose,
The saintly breath of those, who know
Those are not humans, only shells,
The empty ones, who do not know
No matter to which low degree,
REHMAN will serve the ones, who know

by Rahman Baba.

Johannes Ewald’s Last Poetic Sentiments Some Hours Prior To His Death

To arms, hero of Calvary!
Lift high your bright-red shield;
For sin and dread – as you can see –
By force would have me yield.

In righteous ire your sword outstretch
’Gainst those who you defy!
Hurl from the light – and me, poor wretch –
Such foes before I die.

Safe in your hand I then will view
My death without dismay;
And my saved spirit offer you
On its now unmade clay.
-------------------
Oh Lord! rest and relief vouchsafe;
Though if you would chastise me,
Teach me endurance – prayer – and faith,
Let my heart CHRIST suffice me.

by Johannes Ewald.

Epitaph [to This Grave Is Committed]

I was a friend, On this sad stone a pious look bestow,
Nor uninstructed read this tale of woe;
And while the sigh of sorrow heaves thy breast,
Let each rebellious murmur be supprest;
Heaven's hidden ways to trace, for us, how vain!
Heaven's wise decrees, how impious, to arraign!
Pure from the stains of a polluted age,
In early bloom of life, they left the stage:
Not doom'd in lingering woe to waste their breath
One moment snatch'd Them from the power of Death:
They liv'd united, and united died;
Happy the friends, whom Death cannot divi
O man, to thee, to all.

by James Beattie.

The Death Of Abraham Lincoln

Oh, slow to smit and swift to spare,
Gentle and merciful and just!
Who, in the fear of God, didst bear
The sword of power, a nation's trust!

In sorrow by thy bier we stand,
Amid the awe that hushes all,
And speak the anguish of a land
That shook with horror at thy fall.

Thy task is done; the bond of free;
We bear thee to an honored grave,
Whose proudest monument shall be
The broken fetters of the slave.

Pure was thy life; its bloody close
Hath placed thee with the sons of light,
Among the noble host of those
Who perished in the cause of Right.

by William Cullen Bryant.

The Death Of Lincoln

Oh, slow to smit and swift to spare,
Gentle and merciful and just!
Who, in the fear of God, didst bear
The sword of power, a nation's trust!

In sorrow by thy bier we stand,
Amid the awe that hushes all,
And speak the anguish of a land
That shook with horror at thy fall.

Thy task is done; the bond of free;
We bear thee to an honored grave,
Whose proudest monument shall be
The broken fetters of the slave.

Pure was thy life; its bloddy close
Hath placed thee with the sons of light,
Among the noble host of those
Who perished in the cause of Right.

by William Cullen Bryant.

A Song. Go Tell Amynta, Gentle Swain

1.
Go tell Amynta, gentle swain,
I would not die, nor dare complain.
Thy tuneful voice with numbers join,
Thy voice will more prevail than mine;
For souls opprest and dumb with grief,
The gods ordain'd this kind relief.
That music should in sounds convey
What dying lovers dare not say.

2.
A sigh or tear perhaps she'll give,
But love on pity cannot live:
Tell her that hearts for hearts were made,
And love with love is only paid,
Tell her my pains so fast increase
That soon it will be past redress;
For the wretch that speechless lies,
Attends but death to close his eyes.

by John Dryden.

Epitaph On Two Young Men Of The Name Of Leitch, Who Were Drowned In Crossing The River Southesk

O thou! whose steps in sacred reverence tread
These lone dominions of the silent dead;
On this sad stone a pious look bestow,
Nor uninstructed read this tale of woe;
And while the sigh of sorrow heaves thy breast,
Let each rebellious murmur be suppress'd;
Heaven's hidden ways to trace, for us how vain!
Heaven's wise decrees, how impious to arraign!
Pure from the stains of a polluted age,
In early bloom of life they left the stage:
Not doom'd in lingering woe to waste their breath,
One moment snatch'd them from the power of Death:
They lived united, and united died;
Happy the friends whom Death cannot divide!

by James Beattie.

Gedächtnisfeier

Not a Mass will be sung then,
Not a Kaddish will be said,
Nothing sung, and nothing spoken,
On the day when I am dead.
But perhaps another day
When the weather’s mild, serene,
My Matilde will go walking,
In Montmartre, with Pauline.
With a wreath of immortelles,
She’ll come to dress my grave,
And she’ll sigh: ‘Oh, poor man.’
That moist sadness in her gaze.
A shame I’m so high up,
And I’ve no chair for my sweet,
Not a stool to offer her,
Ah, she trips with weary feet!
Don’t, my sweet, plump child,
Make your way back home on foot,
Behind the iron railings,
The cabs are waiting, look.

by Heinrich Heine.

The Taking Of Quebec

STANZAS ON THE TAKING OF QUEBEC, AND DEATH OF
GENERAL WOLFE


AMIDST the clamour of exulting joys,
Which triumph forces from the patriot heart,
Grief dares to mingle her soul-piercing voice,
And quells the raptures which from pleasures start.
O WOLFE! to thee a streaming flood of woe,
Sighing we pay, and think e'en conquest dear;
QUEBEC in vain shall teach our breast to glow,
Whilst thy sad fate extorts the heart-wrung tear.
Alive the foe thy dreadful vigour fled,
And saw thee fall with joy-pronouncing eyes:
Yet they shall know thou conquerest, though dead--
Since from thy tomb a thousand heroes rise!

by Oliver Goldsmith.

The Dying Christian To His Soul

Vital spark of heav’nly flame!
Quit, O quit this mortal frame:
Trembling, hoping, ling’ring, flying,
O the pain, the bliss of dying!
Cease, fond Nature, cease thy strife,
And let me languish into life.

Hark! they whisper; angels say,
Sister Spirit, come away!
What is this absorbs me quite?
Steals my senses, shuts my sight,
Drowns my spirits, draws my breath?
Tell me, my soul, can this be death?

The world recedes; it disappears!
Heav’n opens on my eyes! my ears
With sounds seraphic ring!
Lend, lend your wings! I mount! I fly!
O Grave! where is thy victory?
O Death! where is thy sting?

by Alexander Pope.

Methought I Saw My Late Espoused Saint

Methought I saw my late espoused Saint
Brought to me like Alcestis from the grave,
Who Jove's great Son to her glad Husband gave,
Rescu'd from death by force though pale and faint.
Mine as whom washt from spot of child-bed taint
Purification in the old Law did save,
And such as yet once more I trust to have
Full sight of her in Heav'n without restraint,
Came vested all in white, pure as her mind:
Her face was veil'd, yet to my fancied sight
Love, sweetness, goodness in her person shin'd
So clear, as in no face with more delight.
But O as to embrace me she enclin'd
I wak'd, she fled, and day brought back my night.

by John Milton.

Oh! Snatched Away In Beauty's Bloom

Oh! snatched away in beauty's bloom,
On thee shall press no ponderous tomb;
But on thy turf shall roses rear
Their leaves, the earliest of ' the year;
And the wild cypress wave in tender gloom:

And oft by yon blue gushing stream
Shall Sorrow lean her drooping head,
And feed deep thought with many a dream,
And lingering pause and lightly tread;
Fond wretch! as if her step disturbed the dead!

Away I we know that tears are vain,
That death nor heeds nor hears distress:
Will this unteach us to complain?
Or make one mourner weep the less?
And thou - who tell'st me to forget,
Thy looks are wan, thine eyes are wet.

by George Gordon Byron.

XXIII

Methought I saw my late espoused saint
Brought to me, like Alcestis, from the grave,
Whom Jove's great son to her glad husband gave,
Rescued from death by force, though pale and faint.
Mine, as whom washed from spot of child-bed taint
Purification in the Old Law did save,
And such, as yet once more I trust to have
Full sight of her in Heav'n without restraint,
Came vested all in white, pure as her mind:
Her face was veiled, yet to my fancied sight
Love, sweetness, goodness, in her person shined
So clear, as in no face with more delight.
But O, as to embrace me she inclined,
I waked, she fled, and day brought back my night.

by John Milton.

Ay, thou art for the grave; thy glances shine
Too brightly to shine long; another Spring
Shall deck her for men's eyes---but not for thine---
Sealed in a sleep which knows no wakening.
The fields for thee have no medicinal leaf,
And the vexed ore no mineral of power;
And they who love thee wait in anxious grief
Till the slow plague shall bring the final hour.
Glide softly to thy rest then; Death should come
Gently, to one of gentle mould like thee,
As light winds wandering through groves of bloom
Detach the delicate blossom from the tree.
Close thy sweet eyes, calmly, and without pain;
And we will trust in God to see thee yet again.

by William Cullen Bryant.

WHEN I remember with what buoyant heart,
Midst war's alarms and woes of civil strife,
In youthful eagerness, thou didst depart,
At peril of thy safety, peace, and life,
To nurse the wounded soldier, swathe the dead --
How piercéd soon by fever's poisoned dart,
And brought unconscious home, with wildered head --
Thou, ever since, mid languor and dull pain,
To conquer fortune, cherish kindred dear,
Hast with grave studies vexed a sprightly brain,
In myriad households kindled love and cheer;
Ne'er from thyself by Fame's loud trump beguiled,
Sounding in this and the farther hemisphere: --
I press thee to my heart, as Duty's faithful child.

by Amos Bronson Alcott.

Prayer unsaid, and mass unsung, Deadman's dirge must still be rung:
Dingle-dong, the dead-bells sound! Mermen chant his dirge around!

Wash him bloodless, smooth him fair, Stretch his limbs, and sleek his hair
Dingle-dong, the dead-bells go! Mermen swing them to and fro!

In the wormless sand shall he Feast for no foul glutton be:
Dingle-dong, the dead-bells chime! Mermen keep the tone and time!

We must with a tombstone brave Shut the shark out from his grave
Dingle-dong, the dead-bells toll! Mermen dirgers ring his knoll!

Such a slab will we lay o'er him All the dead shall rise before him!
Dingle-dong, the dead-bells boom! Mermen lay him in his tomb!

by George Darley.

On The Religious Memory Of Mrs. Catherine Thomson, My Christian Friend, Deceased Dec. 16, 1646

When Faith and Love, which parted from thee never,
Had ripened thy just soul to dwell with God,
Meekly thou didst resign this earthly load
Of death, called life, which us from life doth sever.
Thy works, and alms, and all thy good endeavour,
Stayed not behind, nor in the grave were trod;
But, as Faith pointed with her golden rod,
Followed thee up to joy and bliss for ever.
Love led them on; and Faith, who knew them best
Thy handmaids, clad them o’er with purple beams
And azure wings, that up they flew so drest,
And speak the truth of thee on glorious themes
Before the Judge; who henceforth bid thee rest,
And drink thy fill of pure immortal streams.

by John Milton.

Death And His Brother Sleep (‘morphine’)

There’s a mirror likeness between those two
shining, youthfully-fledged figures, though
one seems paler than the other and more austere,
I might even say more perfect, more distinguished,
than he, who would take me confidingly in his arms –
how soft then and loving his smile, how blessed his glance!
Then, it might well have been that his wreath
of white poppies gently touched my forehead, at times,
and drove the pain from my mind with its strange scent.
But that is transient. I can only, now, be well,
when the other one, so serious and pale,
the older brother, lowers his dark torch. –
Sleep is so good, Death is better, yet
surely never to have been born is best.

by Heinrich Heine.

KLOPSTOCK would lead us away from Pindus; no longer for laurel
May we be eager--the homely acorn alone must content us;
Yet he himself his more-than-epic crusade is conducting
High on Golgotha's summit, that foreign gods he may honour!
Yet, on what hill he prefers, let him gather the angels together,
Suffer deserted disciples to weep o'er the grave of the just one:
There where a hero and saint hath died, where a bard breath'd his numbers,
Both for our life and our death an ensample of courage resplendent
And of the loftiest human worth to bequeath,--ev'ry nation
There will joyously kneel in devotion ecstatic, revering
Thorn and laurel garland, and all its charms and its tortures.

by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

On The Death Of The Right Hounourable ---

YE Muses, pour the pitying tear
For Pollio snatch'd away;
O! had he liv'd another year!-
'He had not died to-day'.

O! were he born to bless mankind,
In virtuous times of yore,
Heroes themselves had fallen behind!-
'Whene'er he went before'.

How sad the groves and plains appear,
And sympathetic sheep;
Even pitying hills would drop a tear!-
'If hills could learn to weep'.

His bounty in exalted strain
Each bard might well display;
Since none implor'd relief in vain!-
'That went reliev'd away'.

And hark! I hear the tuneful throng
His obsequies forbid,
He still shall live, shall live as long!-
'As ever dead man did'.

by Oliver Goldsmith.

The Angel Of Death

Discard greed and temptations, forget your travels to near and far;
The bandit of death is blowing his trumpet and indulging in looting day and night;
Why are you roaming from place to place with all your paraphernalia;
Not even a twig will eventually go with you when your death arrives;
Your riches and grand life style are all left behind when the angel of death loads you on his back;

Do not feel proud of your swords and shields;
They will abandon you on seeing the spear of death;
Alone in a desert would you then eat the dust of the grave;
In that desert, indeed Nazeer, not even an insect would care to visit you;
Your riches and grand life style are all left behind when the angel of death loads you on his back.

by Nazeer Akbarabadi.

King Death was a rare old fellow!
He sate where no sun could shine;
And he lifted his hand so yellow,
And poured out his coal-black wine.
Hurrah! for the coal-black Wine!

There came to him many a Maiden,
Whose eyes had forgot to shine;
And Widows, with grief o'erladen,
For a draught of his sleepy wine.
Hurrah! for the coal-black Wine!

The Scholar left all his learning;
The Poet his fancied woes;
And the Beauty her bloom returning,
Like life to the fading rose.
Hurrah! for the coal-black Wine!

All came to the royal old fellow,
Who laugh'd till his eyes dropped brine,
As he gave them his hand so yellow,
And pledged them in Death's black wine.
Hurrah! ­Hurrah!
Hurrah! for the coal-black Wine!

by Barry Cornwall.

One Happy Moment

NO, no, poor suff'ring Heart, no Change endeavour,
Choose to sustain the smart, rather than leave her;
My ravish'd eyes behold such charms about her,
I can die with her, but not live without her:
One tender Sigh of hers to see me languish,
Will more than pay the price of my past anguish:
Beware, O cruel Fair, how you smile on me,
'Twas a kind look of yours that has undone me.

Love has in store for me one happy minute,
And She will end my pain who did begin it;
Then no day void of bliss, or pleasure leaving,
Ages shall slide away without perceiving:
Cupid shall guard the door the more to please us,
And keep out Time and Death, when they would seize us:
Time and Death shall depart, and say in flying,
Love has found out a way to live, by dying.

by John Dryden.