James Shirley

(September 1596 – October 1666 / London, England)

Sililoquy On Death


I have not lived
After the rate to fear another world.
We come from nothing into life, a time
We measure with a short breath, and that often
Made tedious, too, with our own cares that fill it;
Which, like so many atoms in a sunbeam,
But crowd and jostle one another. All,
From the adored purple to the haircloth,
Must centre in a shade; and they that have
Their virtues to wait on them, bravely mock
The rugged storms that so much fright them here,
When their soul's launch'd by death into a sea
That's ever calm.

Submitted: Thursday, April 15, 2010

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