Anna Laetitia Barbauld (1743-1825)
A THOUGHT ON DEATH: NOVEMBER, 1814.
WHEN life as opening buds is sweet,
And golden hopes the fancy greet,
And Youth prepares his joys to meet,--
Alas! how hard it is to die!
When just is seized some valued prize,
And duties press, and tender ties
Forbid the soul from earth to rise,--
How awful then it is to die!
When, one by one, those ties are torn,
And friend from friend is snatched forlorn,
And man is left alone to mourn,--
Ah then, how easy 'tis to die!
When faith is firm, and conscience clear,
And words of peace the spirit cheer,
And visions glories half appear,--
'Tis joy, 'tis triumph then to die.
When trembling limbs refuse their weight,
And films, slow gathering, dim the sight.
And clouds obscure the mental light,--
'Tis nature's precious boon to die.