So live, that when thy summons comes to join
The innumerable caravan, which moves
To that mysterious realm, where each shall take
His chamber in the silent halls of death,
Thou go not, like the quarry-slave at night,
Scourged to his dungeon, but, sustained and soothed
By an unfaltering trust, approach thy grave
Like one who wraps the drapery of his couch
About him, and lies down to pleasant dreams.
I don’t remember a lot about William Cullen Bryant, the poet who wrote Thanatopsis, but I did memorize these lines. It amazed me that a mere poet could grasp the essential tenet of a Christian life. Isn’t the above exactly what we are taught in the Bible? To live our lives in such a manner that we do not fear death, but rather have faith that after death we shall be in the arms of Jesus with the rest of the blest?
What say ye?