A Dirge


   To-day is a thought, a fear is to-morrow,
   And yesterday is our sin and our sorrow;
   And life is a death,
      Where the body’s the tomb,
   And the pale sweet breath
      Is buried alive in its hideous gloom.
   Then waste no tear,
   For we are the dead; the living are here,
   In the stealing earth, and the heavy bier.
Death lives but an instant, and is but a sigh,
And his son is unnamed immortality,
Whose being is thine. Dear ghost, so to die
Is to live,—and life is a worthless lie.—
Then we weep for ourselves, and wish thee good bye.

[Kelsall, 1851]