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Grim death in different shapes
Depopulates the nations; thousands fall
His victims; youths, and virgins, in their flower,
Reluctant die, and sighing leave their loves
Unfinish'd, by infectious heaven destroy'd.

Phillips's Cider.

Yet tell me, frighted senses! what is death?
Blood only stopp'd, and interrupted breath;
The utmost limit of a narrow span,
And end of motion, which with life began.
As smoke that rises from the kindling fires,
Is seen this moment, and the next expires;
As empty clouds by rising winds are tost,

Oh! I less could fear to lose this being!
Which, like a snow-ball in my coward hand,
The more 't is grasp'd, the faster melts away
Dryden's All for Love

Death is not dreadful to a mind resolv'd,
It seems as natural as to be born.
Groans and convulsions, and discolour'd faces,
Friends weeping round us, blacks, and obsequies,
Make death a dreadful thing. The pomp of death
Is far more terrible than death itself.

Lee's Lucius Junius Brutus.

The dead are only happy, and the dying:
The dead are stiff, and lasting slumbers hold'em.

Their fleeting forms scarce sooner found than lost; He who is near his death, but turns about,

So vanishes our state, so pass our days;
So life but opens now, and now decays;
The cradle and the tomb, alas! so nigh,
To live is scarce distinguish'd from to die.
Prior's Soloman.

Why is the hearse with 'scutcheons blazon'd round,
And with the nodding plume of ostrich crown'd?
No: the dead know it not, nor profit gain;
It only serves to prove the living vain.

Gay's Trivia.
She's gone! for ever gone! The king of terrors
Lays his rude hands upon her lovely limbs,
And blasts her beauties with his icy breath.
Dennis's Appius and Virginia.

Death came on amain,

And exercis'd below his iron reign;
Then upward to the seat of life he goes:
Sense fled before him; what he touch'd he froze.
Dryden's Palemon and Arcite.

Then 't is our best, since thus ordain'd to die,
To make a virtue of necessity.
Take what he gives, since to rebel is vain,
The bad grows better, which we well sustain,
And could we choose the time, and choose aright,
"Tis best to die, our honour at the height.
Dryden's Palemon and Arcite.

Poor abject creatures! how they fear to die
Who never knew one happy hour in life,
Yet shake to lay it down! Is load so pleasant?
Or has heav'n hid the happiness of death,
That man may dare to live.

Dryden's Don Sebastian.

I feel death rising higher still, and higher
Within my bosom; every breath I fetch
Shut up my life within a shorter compass:
And, like the vanishing sound of bells, grows less
And less cach pulse, till it be lost in air.

Dryden's Rival Ladies.

Shuffles awhile to make his pillow easy,
Then slips into his shroud and rests for ever.
Lee's Casar Borgia.

O death! thou gentle end of human sorrows,
Still must my weary eye-lids vainly wake,
In tedious expectation of thy peace:
Why stand thy thousand, thousand doors still open

To take the wretched in, if stern religion
Guards every passage, and forbids my entrance?
Rowe's Tamerlane.

There life gave way, and the last rosy breath
Went in that sigh; death, like a brutal victor
Already enter'd, with rude haste defaces
The lovely frame he's master'd.

Rowe's Jane Shore

"Tis but to dic,

'Tis but to venture on that common hazard
Which many a time in battle I have run;
'Tis but to do, what, at that very moment,
In many nations of the peopled carth,
A thousand and a thousand shall do with me.
Rowe's Jane Shore

Death is the privilege of human nature;
And life without it were not worth our taking.
Thither the poor, the pris'ner, and the mourner,
Fly for relief, and lay their burdens down.

Rowe's Fair Penitent.

'Tis not the Stoic's lessons got by rote,
That can sustain thee in that hour of terror:
The pomp of words and pedant dissertations,
Books have taught cowards to talk nobly of it,
But when the trial comes they stand aghast.
Hast thou consider'd what may happen after it?
How thy account may stand, and what to answer?

The reconciling grave
Swallows distinction first, that made us focs,
That all alike lie down in peace together

Southern's Fatal Marriage.

The death of those distinguish'd by their station, | Why start at death? where is he? death arriv'd, But by their virtue more, awakes the mind

To solemn dread, and strikes a saddening awe.
Not that we grieve for them, but for ourselves,
Left to the toil of life. And yet the best
Are, by the playful children of this world,
At once forgot, as they had never been.

Thomson's Tancred and Sigismunda.

To die, I own

terrible to nature,

Is a dread passage
Chiefly to those who have, like me, been happy.
Thomson's Edward and Eleanora.

Thus o'er the dying lamp th' unsteady flame
Hangs quivering on the point, leaps off by fits
And falls again, as loath to quit its hold.

Is past; not come or gone, he's never here.
Ere hope, sensation fails; black-boding man
Receives, not suffers death's tremendous blow.
The knell, the shroud, the mattock, and the grave;
The deep damp vault, the darkness and the worm,
These are the bug-bears of a winter's eve,
The terrors of the living, not the dead.
Imagination's fool, and error's wretch,
Man makes a death, which nature never made;
Then on the point of his own fancy falls;
And feels a thousand deaths, in fearing one.
Young's Night Thoughts.
Death leads the dance, or stamps the deadly die,
Nor ever fails the midnight bowl to crown.

Addison's Cato. Gaily carousing to his gay compcers,
Let guilt, or fear,
Disturb man's rest, Cato knows neither of them;
Indifferent in his choice, to sleep or die.

Addison's Cato.
Will toys amuse, when med'cines cannot cure?
When spirits ebb, when life's enchanting scenes
Their lustre lose, and lessen in our sight,
As lands and cities, with their glittering spires,
To the poor shatter'd bark by sudden storm
Thrown off to sea, and soon to perish there?
Will toys amuse? No: thrones will then be toys,
And earth and skies seem dust upon the scale.
Young's Night Thoughts.

Each friend snatch'd from us, is a plume
Pluck'd from the wing of human vanity,
Which makes us stoop from our aerial heights,
And, dampt with omen of our own disease,
On drooping pinions of ambition lower'd,
Just skim earth's surface, ere we break it up,
O'er putrid earth to scratch a little dust,
And save the world a nuisance.

Young's Night Thoughts.

Death is the crown of life:
Were death deny'd, poor men would live in vain;
Were death deny'd, to live would not be life:
Were death deny'd, ev'n fools would wish to die.
Young's Night Thoughts.
Early, bright, transient, chaste as morning dew,
She sparkled, was exhal'd, and went to heaven.
Young's Night Thoughts.

Like other tyrants, death delights to smite,
What, smitten, most proclaims the pride of pow'r,
And arbitrary nod. His joy supreme,
To bid the wretch survive the fortunate;
The feeble wrap the athletic in his shroud;
And weeping fathers build their children's tomb.
Young's Night Thoughts.

Inly he laughs, to see them laugh at him,
As absent far: and when the revel burns,
When fear is banish'd, and triumphant thought,
Calling for all the joys beneath the moon,
Against him turns the key, and bids him sup
With their progenitors, he drops his mask;
Frowns out at full; they start, despair, expire
Young's Night Thoughts

That man lives greatly,
Whate'er his fate, or fame, who greatly dies;
High flush'd with hope, where heroes shall despair.
Young's Night Thoughts.

Where the prime actors of the last year's scene;
Their post so proud, their buskin, and their plume?
How many sleep, who kept the world awake
With lustre and with noise!

Young's Night Thoughts. When down thy vale, unlock'd my midnigh thought,

That loves to wander in thy sunless realms,
O death! I stretch my view; what visions rise!
What triumphs! toils imperial! arts divine!
In wither'd laurels glide before my sight!
What lengths of far-famed ages, billow'd high
With human agitation, roll along

In unsubstantial images of air?
The melancholy ghosts of dead renown,
Whisp'ring faint echoes of the world's applause
With penitential aspect, as they pass,
All point at earth, and hiss at human pride,
The wisdom of the wise and prancings of the great.
Young's Night Thoughts

Now every splendid object of ambition,
Which lately, with their various glosses, pass'd
Upon my brain, and fool'd my idle heart,

Are taken from me by a little inist,
And all the world is vanish'd.

Young's Busin

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 unfurnish'd for that 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.

Blair's Grave.

Sure, 't is a serious thing to die. my soul!
What a strange moment must it be, when near
Thy journey's end thou hast the gulph in view!
That awful gulph no mortal c'er repass'd,
To tell what's doing on the other side!
Nature runs back and shudders at the sight,
And every life-string bleeds at thought of parting.
Blair's Grave.
Death's shafts fly thick! Here falls the village


And there his pamper'd lord! The cup goes round,
And who so artful as to put it by!

O great man-cater

Blair's Grave.

Whose every day is carnival, not sated yet!
Unheard-of epicure! without a fellow!
The veriest gluttons do not always cram;
Some intervals of abstinence are sought
To edge the appetite; thou scekest none.

Blair's Grave.

Death's but a path that must be trod,
If man would ever pass to God.

The world recedes; it disappears!
Heav'n opens on my eyes! my ears
With sounds scraphic ring:

Lend, lend your wings! I mount! I fly!
O grave! where is thy victory?
O death! where is thy sting?

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Can storied urn, or animated bust,
Back to its mansion call the fleeting breath?
Can honour's voice provoke the silent dust,
Or flattery soothe the dull cold ear of death?
Gray's Church-Yard.

That hour, O long belov'd, and long deplor'd!
Nor hymen's honours gather'd for thy brow,
When blooming youth, nor gentlest wisdom's arts,
Avail'd to snatch thee from the cruel grave;
Nor all thy lover's, all thy father's tears,
Thy agonizing looks, thy last farewell
Struck to the inmost feeling of my soul,
As with the hand of death.

Akenside's Pleasures of Imagination. Heav'n! what enormous strength does death possess!

How muscular the giant's arm must be,

To grasp that strong-boned horse, and, spite of all
His furious efforts, fix him to the earth!
Yet, hold, he rises! no-the struggle's vain,
His strength avails him not. Beneath the gripe
Parnell. Of the remorseless monster, stretch'd at length
He lies with neck extended, head hard press'd,
Upon the very turf where late he fed.


See on these ruby lips the trembling breath,
These cheeks now fading at the blast of death;
Cold is the breast which warm'd the world before,
And those love darting eyes must roll no more.


'Thy fate unpity'd, and thy rites unpaid!
No friend's complaint, no kind domestic tear,
Pleas'd thy pale ghost, or grac'd thy mournful


By foreign hands thy dying eyes were clos'd,
By foreign nands thy decent limbs compos'd,
By foreign hands thy humble grave adorn'd,
liv strangers honour'd, and by strangers mourn'd.

Blacket's Dying Horse

"Enlarge my life with multitude of days!"—
In health, in sickness, thus the suppliant prays:
Hides from himself his state, and shuns to know,
That life protracted, is protracted woe.

Dr. Johnson's Vanity of Human Wishes.
In life's last scene what prodigies surprise,
Fears of the brave, and follics of the wise?
From Marlb'rough's eyes the streams of dotage

And Swift expires a driv'ler and a show.

Dr. Johnson's Vanity of Human Wishes.
Since, howe'er protracted, death will come,
Why fondly study with ingenious pains
To put it off!-To breathe a little longer
Is to defer our fate, but not to shun it:
Small gain! which wisdom with indiff'rent eye

Hannah More's David and Goliah

I fear to die. And were it in my power,
By suffering of the keenest racking pains,
To keep upon me still these weeds of nature,
I could such things endure, that thou wouldst

And cross thyself to see such coward bravery.
For oh! it goes against the mind of man
To be turn'd out from its warm wonted home,
Ere yet one rent admits the winter's chill.

Joanna Baillie's Rayner.

O thou most terrible, most dreaded power,
In whatsoever power thou mect'st the eye!
Whether thou bidd'st thy sudden arrow fly
In the dread silence of the midnight hour;
Or whether, hovering o'er the lingering wretch,
Thy sad cold javelin hangs suspended long,
While round the couch the weeping kindred throng
With hope and fear alternately on stretch;
Oh, say for me what horrors are prepared?
Am I now doom'd to meet thy fatal arm?
Or wilt thou first from life steal every charm,
And bear away each good my soul would guard?
That thus, deprived of all it loved, my heart
From life itself contentedly may part.

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None to watch near him.
The fire that in his bosom lics,
With cv'n a sprinkle from that lake,
Which shines so cool before his eyes.
No voice well-known through many a day,
To speak the last-the parting word,
Which, when all other sounds decay,
Is still like distant music heard.

That tender farewell on the shore

Of this rude world, when all is o'er, Which cheers the spirit, ere its bark Mrs. Tighe. Puts off into the unknown dark.

Death! to the happy thou art torrible,
But how the wretched love to think of thee,
O thou true comforter, the friend of all
Who have no friend beside!

Southey's Joan of Arc.
Soon may this fluttering spark of vital flame
Forsake its languid melancholy frame!
Soon may these eyes their trembling lustre close,
Welcome the dreamless night of long repose;
Soon may this woc-worn spirit seek the bourn
Where, lull'd to slumber, grief forgets to mourn!

All flesh is grass, and all its glory fades,
Like the fair flow'r dishevell'd in the wind;
Riches have wings, and grandeur is a dream;
The man we celebrate must find a tomb,
And we that worship him, ignoble graves,
Cowper's Task.
Hush'd were his Gertrude's lips! but still their

And beautiful expression seem'd to melt
With love that could not die! and still his hand
She presses to the heart no more that felt.
Ah, heart! where once each fond affection dwelt,
And features yet that spoke a soul more fair.
Mate, gazing, agonizing as he knelt,—
Of them that stood encircling his despair,
He heard some friendly words; but knew not what
they were.

Campbell's Gertrude of Wyoming.

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Can this be death? there's bloom upon her cheek,
But now I see it is no living hue,

But a strange hectic-like the unnatural red
Which autumn plants upon the perish'd leaf.
It is the same! Oh God! that I should dread
To look upon the same-Astarte !

Byron's Manfred
I know no evil death can show, which life
Has not already shown to those who live
Embodied longest. If there be indeed
A shore, where mind survives, 't will be as mino
All unincorporate: or if there flits
A shadow of this cumbrous clog of clay,
Which stalks, methinks, between our sous and

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S.nce I heard

Of death, although I know not what it is,
Yet it seems horrible. I have look'd out
In the vast desolate night in search of him;
And when I saw gigantic shadows in
The umbrage of the walls of Eden, chequer'd
By the far flashing of the cherubs' swords,
I watch'd for what I thought his coming; for
With fear rose longing in my heart to know
What 't was which shook us all-but nothing came,
And then I turn'd my weary eyes from off
Our native and forbidden paradise,
Up to the lights above us, in the azure,
Which are so beautiful:-shall they, too, die?
Byron's Cain.

I live,

But live to die and living, sce nothing
To make death hateful, save an innate clinging,
A loathsome and yet all-invincible
Instinct of life, which I abhor, as I
Despise myself, yet cannot overcome—
And so I live. Would I had never lived!

Death is but what the haughty brave,
Byron's Cain.
The weak must bear, the wretch must crave.
Byron's Giaour.

The first dark day of nothingness,
The last of danger and distress.

Byron's Giaour.

The very cypress droops to death — Dark tree, still sad when others' grief is fled, The only constant mourner o'er the dead.

Byron's Giaour.

His breast with wounds unnumber'd riven,
His back to earth, his face to heaven,
Fall'n Hassan lies-his unclos'd eye,

Yet lowering on his enemy,

As if the hour that seal'd his fato,
Surviving left his quenchless hate.

Byron's Giaour.
"Tis morn-and o er his altered features play
The beams-without the hope of yesterday.
What shall he be ere night? perchance a thing
O'er which the raven flaps her wing:
By his closed eye unheeded and unfelt,
While sets that sun and dews of evening melt,
Chill--wet-and misty round each stiffen'd limb,
Refreshing earth-reviving all but him!

Byron's Corsair.

He died too in the battle broil,
A time that heeds nor pain nor toil;
One cry to Mahomet for aid,
One prayer to Allah all he made.

Byron's Gigour.

Can this be death? then what is life or death?
"Speak!" but he spoke not: "wake!" but still he

But yesterday, and who had mightier breath?
A thousand warriors by his word were kept
In awe: he said, as the centurion saith,
"Go," and he goeth; "come," and forth he stepp'd.
The trump and bugle till he spake were dumb,
And now nought left him but the muffled drum.


Twelve days and nights she wither'd thus; at last,
Without a groan, or sigh, or glance to show
A parting pang, the spirit from her past:
And they who watch'd her nearest could not know
The very instant, till the change that cast
Her sweet face into shadow, dull and slow,
Glazed o'er her eyes- the beautiful, the black-
Oh! to possess such lustre — and then lack!

"Whom the gods love die young" was said of yore,
And many deaths do they escape by this:
The death of friends, and that which slays even


The death of friendship, love, youth, all that is,
Except mere breath; and since the silent shore
Awaits at last even those who longest miss
The old archer's shafts, perhaps the early grave
Which men weep over may be meant to save.

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Perchance she died in youth; it may be, bow'd
With woes far heavier than the ponderous tomb
That weigh'd upon her gentle dust, a cloud
In her dark eye, prophetic of the doom
Might gather o'er her beauty, and a gloom
Heaven gives its favourites-early death.

Byron's Childe Harold.


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