On Peaceful Death and Painful Life

Why dost thou sorrow for the happy dead?

For if their life be lost their toils are o’er,

And woe and want can trouble them no more;

Nor ever slept they in an earthly bed

So sound as now they sleep, while dreamless laid

In the dark chambers of the unknown shore,

Where Night and Silence guard each sealed door.

So–turn from such as thee thy drooping head

And mourn the dead alive, whose spirit flies,

Whose life departs, before his death has come;

Who knows no Heaven beyond his gloomy skies;

Who sees no Hope to brighten up that gloom:

‘Tis he who feels the worm that never dies,

The real death and darkness of a tomb!

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