Monday 18 October 2010
Death, be not proud
I learned tonight of the sudden death of Sean, the nineteen-year-old son of a fellow blogger. I posted the following message on his blog. I want to add it here also in memory of a beautiful Irish boy.
Brendano, dear, dear, Brendano. I’ve not been here for a few days. It was Ike Jakson who told me this terrible news. It frightens me because death does not belong to people like Sean, of my generation, even younger than me: death belongs to those who have lived life; death belongs to the old, not to us: we are immortal. But we are not.
There is nothing I can say that will comfort you, your wife and the rest of your family; indeed, it’s presumptuous of me to say anything at all, a stranger, a mere internet presence. But it’s in moments like this that each and every one of us, across generations, across nations and across all differences, feels solidarity at a simple human level. I can’t begin to understand your pain, I don’t want to understand it, but I feel so sad tonight, so sad for your tragic loss. All I can do is to offer some lines by my favourite poet;
Death, be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so;
For those whom thou think'st thou dost over throw
Die not, poor Death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
From rest and sleep, which but thy pictures be,
Much pleasure - then, from thee much more must flow;
And soonest our best men with thee do go,
Rest of their bones and soul's delivery.
Thou'rt slave to fate, chance, kings and desperate men,
And dost with poison, war and sickness dwell;
And poppy or charms can make us sleep as well,
And better than thy stroke. Why swell'st thou then?
One short sleep past, we wake eternally,
And death shall be no more. Death thou shalt die.
With much love. Anastasia.