Quotes About Death



Death calls ye to the crowd of common men.
_Cupid and Death_. J. SHIRLEY.

A worm is in the bud of youth,
And at the root of age.
_Stanza subjoined to a Bill of Mortality_. W. COWPER.

The tall, the wise, the reverend head
Must lie as low as ours.
_A Funeral Thought, Bk. II. Hymn 63_. DR. I. WATTS.

Comes at the last, and with a little pin
Bores through his castle wall, and--farewell king!
_K. Richard II., Act iii. Sc. 2_. SHAKESPEARE.

And though mine arm should conquer twenty worlds,
There's a lean fellow beats all conquerors.
_Old Fortunatus_. T. DEKKER.

Men must endure
Their going hence, even as their coming hither:
Ripeness is all.
_King Lear, Act v. Sc. 2_. SHAKESPEARE.

This fell sergeant, death,
Is strict in his arrest.
_Hamlet, Act v. Sc. 2_. SHAKESPEARE.

We cannot hold mortality's strong hand.
_King John, Act iv. Sc. 2_. SHAKESPEARE.

That we shall die we know: 't is but the time
And drawing days out, that men stand upon.
_Julius Cæsar, Act iii. Sc. 1_. SHAKESPEARE.

Our days begin with trouble here,
Our life is but a span,
And cruel death is always near,
So frail a thing is man.
_New England Primer_.

Of all the wonders that I yet have heard,
It seems to me most strange that men should fear;
Seeing that death, a necessary end,
Will come when it will come.
_Julius Cæsar, Act ii. Sc. 2_. SHAKESPEARE.

The hour concealed, and so remote the fear,
Death still draws nearer, never seeming near.
_Essay on Man, Epistle III_. A. POPE.

The tongues of dying men
Enforce attention, like deep harmony:
When words are scarce, they're seldom spent in vain;
For they breathe truth that breathe their words in pain.
_K. Richard II., Act ii. Sc. 1_. SHAKESPEARE.

A death-bed's a detector of the heart:
Here tired dissimulation drops her mask,
Through life's grimace that mistress of the scene;
Here real and apparent are the same.
_Night Thoughts, Night II_. DR. E. YOUNG.

The chamber where the good man meets his fate
Is privileged beyond the common walk
Of virtuous life, quite in the verge of heaven.
_Night Thoughts. Night II_. DR. E. YOUNG.

Nothing in his life
Became him like the leaving it; he died,
As one that had been studied in his death,
To throw away the dearest thing he owed,
As 't were a careless trifle.
_Macbeth, Act i. Sc. 4_. SHAKESPEARE.

The bad man's death is horror; but the just,
Keeps something of his glory in the dust.
_Castara_. W. HABINGTON.

Cut off even in the blossoms of my sin,
Unhouseled, disappointed, unaneled;
No reckoning made, but sent to my account
With all my imperfections on my head.
_Hamlet, Act i. Sc. 1_. SHAKESPEARE.

With mortal crisis doth portend
My days to appropinque an end.
_Hudibras, Pt. I. Canto III_. S. BUTLER.

Sure, 't is a serious thing to die!...
Nature runs back and shudders at the sight,
And every life-string bleeds at thought of parting;
For part they must: body and soul must part;
Fond couple! linked more close than wedded pair.
_The Grave_. B. BLAIR.

While man is growing, life is in decrease;
And cradles rock us nearer to the tomb.
Our birth is nothing but our death begun.
_Night Thoughts, Night V_. DR. E. YOUNG.

Put out the light, and then--put out the light.
If I quench thee, thou flaming minister,
I can again thy former light restore,
Should I repent me; but once put out thy light,
Thou cunningest pattern of excelling nature,
I know not where is that Promethean heat,
That can thy light relume. When I have plucked thy rose
I cannot give it vital growth again,
It needs must wither.
_Othello, Act v. Sc. 2_. SHAKESPEARE.

Death loves a shining mark, a signal blow.
_Night Thoughts, Night V_. DR. E. YOUNG.

Death aims with fouler spite
At fairer marks.
_Divine Poems_. F. QUARLES.

The ripest fruit first falls.
_Richard II., Act ii. Sc. 1_. SHAKESPEARE.

The good die first,
And they whose hearts are dry as summer dust
Burn to the socket.
_The Excursion, Bk. I_ W. WORDSWORTH.

Happy they!
Thrice fortunate! who of that fragile mould,
The precious porcelain of human clay,
Break with the first fall.
_Don Juan, Canto IV_. LORD BYRON.

Loveliest of lovely things are they,
On earth that soonest pass away.
The rose that lives its little hour
Is prized beyond the sculptured flower.
_A Scene on the Banks of the Hudson_. W.C. BRYANT.

"Whom the gods love die young," was said of yore.
_Don Juan, Canto IV_. LORD BYRON.

Ere sin could blight or sorrow fade,
Death came with friendly care;
The opening bud to Heaven conveyed,
And bade it blossom there.
_Epitaph on an Infant_. S.T. COLERIDGE.

Thank God for Death! bright thing with dreary name.
_Benedicam Dominos_. SARAH C. WOOLSEY _(Susan Coolidge)_.

But an old age serene and bright,
And lovely as a Lapland night,
Shall lead thee to thy grave.
_To a Young Lady_. W. WORDSWORTH.

Death is the privilege of human nature,
And life without it were not worth our taking:
Thither the poor, the pris'ner, and the mourner
Fly for relief, and lay their burthens down.
_The Fair Penitent, Act v. Sc 1_. N. ROWE.

Death! to the happy thou art terrible,
But how the wretched love to think of thee,
O thou true comforter, the friend of all
Who have no friend beside.
_Joan of Arc_. R. SOUTHEY.

I would that I were low laid in my grave;
I am not worth this coil that's made for me.
_King John, Act ii. Sc. 1_. SHAKESPEARE.

He gave his honors to the world again,
His blessèd part to heaven, and slept in peace.
_Henry VIII., Act iv. Sc. 3_. SHAKESPEARE.

O, that this too, too solid flesh would melt,
Thaw, and resolve itself into a dew;
Or that the Everlasting had not fixed
His canon 'gainst self-slaughter.
_Hamlet, Act i. Sc. 2_. SHAKESPEARE.

Soldier, rest! thy warfare o'er,
Dream of fighting fields no more;
Sleep the sleep that knows not breaking,
Morn of toil, nor night of waking.

* * * * *

Huntsman, rest! thy chase is done;
Think not of the rising sun,
For, at dawning to assail ye,
Here no bugles sound reveille.
_Lady of the Lake, Canto I_. SIR W. SCOTT.

Better be with the dead,
Whom we, to gain our peace, have sent to peace,
Than on the torture of the mind to lie
In restless ecstasy. Duncan is in his grave;
After life's fitful fever, he sleeps well;
Treason has done his worst: nor steel, nor poison,
Malice domestic, foreign levy, nothing,
Can touch him further!
_Macbeth, Act iii. Sc. 2_. SHAKESPEARE.

Here may the storme-bett vessell safely ryde;
This is the port of rest from troublous toyle,
The worlde's sweet inn from paine and wearisome turmoyle.
_Faërie Queene_. E. SPENSER.

To die is landing on some silent shore,
Where billows never break, nor tempests roar;
Ere well we feel the friendly stroke, 't is o'er.
_The Dispensary, Canto III_. SIR S. GARTH.

Here lurks no treason, here no envy swells,
Here grow no damnèd grudges; here are no storms,
No noise, but silence and eternal sleep.
_Titus Andronicus, Act i. Sc. 2_. SHAKESPEARE.

Let guilt, or fear,
Disturb man's rest, Cato knows neither of them;
Indifferent in his choice, to sleep or die.
_Cato_. J. ADDISON.

Sleep is a death; O make me try
By sleeping what it is to die,
And as gently lay my head
On my grave as now my bed.
_Religio Medici, Pt. II. Sec_. 12. SIR T. BROWNE.

Death in itself is nothing; but we fear
To be we know not what, we know not where.
_Aurengzebe, Act iv. Sc. 1_. J. DRYDEN.

Death, so called, is a thing that makes men weep,
And yet a third of life is passed in sleep.
_Don Juan, Canto XIV_. LORD BYRON.

Let no man fear to die; we love to sleep all,
And death is but the sounder sleep.
_Humorous Lieutenant_. F. BEAUMONT.

I hear a voice you cannot hear,
Which says I must not stay,
I see a hand you cannot see,
Which beckons me away.
_Colin and Lucy_. T. TICKELL.


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