Life and death...


How brief the distance between life and death!

Life is but death's vestibule, and our pilgrimage
on earth is but a journey to the grave.

The pulse that preserves our being, beats our death
march, and the blood which circulates our life, is
floating it onward to the deeps of death.

Today we see our friends in health,
tomorrow we hear of their decease.

We clasped the hand of the strong man but yesterday,
and today we close his eyes.

We rode in the chariot of comfort but an hour ago,
and in a few more hours the last black chariot must
convey us to the home of all living.

Oh, how closely allied is death to life!

The lamb that plays in the field, must soon feel the knife.
The ox that lows in the pasture, is fattening for the slaughter.
Trees do but grow, that they may be felled.

Yes, and greater things than these feel death.

Empires rise and flourish,
they flourish but to decay,
they rise to fall.

How often do we take up the volume of history,
and read of the rise and fall of empires.
We hear of the coronation and the death of kings.

Death is the black servant who rides behind the chariot of life.
See life! and death is close behind it.

Death reaches far throughout this world, and has stamped
all terrestrial things with the broad arrow of the grave.