[These verses are said to have “chilled the heart” of Oliver Cromwell.]

THE GLORIES of our blood and state
  Are shadows, not substantial things;
There is no armor against fate;
  Death lays his icy hand on kings:
      Sceptre and crown

      LEAVES have their time to fall,
And flowers to wither at the north-wind’s breath,
      And stars to set—but all,
Thou hast all seasons for thine own, oh! Death.

      Day is for mortal care,
Eve for glad meetings round the joyous hearth,...

Between the falling leaf and rose-bud’s breath;
  The bird’s forsaken nest and her new song
(And this is all the time there is for Death);
  The worm and butterfly—it is not long!

From “The Giaour”
    HE who hath bent him o’er the dead
  Ere the first day of death is fled,
  The first dark day of nothingness,
  The last of danger and distress,
  (Before Decay’s effacing fingers
  Have swept the lines where beauty lingers,)...

Poet: Lord Byron

We watched her breathing through the night,
  Her breathing soft and low,
As in her breast the wave of life
  Kept heaving to and fro.

So silently we seemed to speak,
  So slowly moved about,
As we had lent her half our powers
  To eke...

Poet: Thomas Hood

Her suffering ended with the day;
  Yet lived she at its close,
And breathed the long, long night away,
  In statue-like repose.

But when the sun, in all his state,
  Illumed the eastern skies,
She passed through glory’s morning-gate,

From “The Song of Hiawatha”
ALL day long roved Hiawatha
In that melancholy forest,
Through the shadows of whose thickets,
In the pleasant days of Summer,
Of that ne’er forgotten Summer.
He had brought his young wife homeward
From the land of...

From the French by Louisa Stuart Costello

’T IS done! a father, mother, gone,
  A sister, brother, torn away,
My hope is now in God alone,
  Whom heaven and earth alike obey.
Above, beneath, to him is known,—
The world’s wide compass is his own....

Alas! that men must see
    Love, before Death!
Else they content might be
    With their short breath;
Aye, glad, when the pale sun
Showed restless day was done,
And endless Rest begun.

Glad, when with strong, cool hand

Anonymous Translation from the German

METHINKS it were no pain to die
On such an eve, when such a sky
    O’er-canopies the west;
To gaze my fill on yon calm deep,
And, like an infant, fall asleep
    On Earth, my mother’s breast.

There ’...

Poet: Anonymous