A Thought On Death
(Sympathy Funeral Poems)
When life as opening buds is sweet
And golden hopes the fancy greet.
And Youth prepares his joys to meet
Alas! how hard it is to die!
When just is seized some valued prize
And duties press, and tender ties.
Forbid the soul from earth to rise
How awful then it is to die!
When, one by one, those ties are torn
And friend from friend is snatched forlorn.
And man is left alone to mourn
Ah then, how easy ’tis to die!
When faith is firm, and conscience clear
And words of peace the spirit cheer.
And visioned glories half appear
‘Tis joy, ’tis triumph then to die.
When trembling limbs refuse their weight
And films, slow gathering, dim the sight.
And clouds obscure the mental light
‘Tis nature’s precious boon to die.
– W. H. Auden