Tuesday, 28 May 2013

A Meditation on Death

These words are much inspired, as always, by some of the spiritual reading that I have done, in which the saints advise us to have a desire for death, coupled however with a desire to do God's will. 

On Longing for Death

Each night I sleep, my body to restore,
Yet morning rise, as weary as before.
The day renewed, such newness life has not:
Each day is with the same despondence fraught.

Down on my knees I pray my daily prayer;
Yet, with it, consolation is but rare.
My faith is threatened at its very root,
And in my heart arises grave dispute.

My duties I perform mechanically,
A mere observance of necessity.
Success comes not with pleasure nor delight,
But only adds unto this wretched plight.

In health or illness, burdens never cease,
In rest or labor, never have I peace.
Alas, this life holds no true joy for me,
But ‘tis a tank of parched aridity.

What goodness that there is upon this earth,
Whatever hath true beauty or true worth;
Such things have little joy for me in store,
But only stir a want for something more.

If life holds not for me what my heart craves,
What left is there for me except the grave?
If troubles haunt me at my every breath,
Why should I not desire the sting of death?

Ah, death, thou door to blissful liberty!
To many minds thou art a penalty,
A defect that our nature must endure –
But nay, to me, thou art a needed cure!

A man might think of death and cower in fear:
Yet ‘tis the only thought that gives me cheer.
For death provides for me the sole relief
From all this world of sorrow and of grief.

In death I am released from this dread cage,
And sundry sorrows finally assuaged.
In death my soul at last can fly away
And free itself from life’s monotonous ways.

But lo! For all my grief-filled heart’s desire,
There is a settled time I must expire.
This time alone may I my death expect,
Or death itself will lose its sweet effect.

Till then, I must in waiting persevere,
For not in vain hath Fortune placed me here,
But that I may my duties well perform,
And brave the agitation of the storm.

Unless I do what God hath had in mind,
Then even death itself will not be kind.
Unless I act in concert with God’s grace,
I shall not ever look upon His face.


  1. Seriously, have you ever had any of your poetry published? If not, you should.

  2. I probably will, at some point. It hasn't happened yet though. Thanks.

  3. Hey, Maesto,

    This is really beautiful poem. I know what it is to feel depressed about life and the desire to experience the perfect bliss of heaven. But of course, I also know what it is to love life and have a good time too, so the mood isn't always melancholy! :-)

    But you are right about the fact that nothing in this world is capable of giving true satisfaction -- it's only a "taster" or a "trailer" of what is to come. I always think of heaven as a place where time has no power, where all are one, and a sense of wholeness and satisfaction and protection permeates all. Is that how you see it, as well?

    I also agree that we are all here for a purpose, and we must bear up as best we can to the trials that assault us, with God's grace.

    Would you do me the honor of allowing me to post your poem on my blog and announcing you as our "guest-poet"?


    1. Thanks much for the compliments. :-) And I would be glad to be your guest poet; I'm honored that you asked me. :-)

      Of course, I too know what it is like to have a good time. But in fact, even if so, my personality does lean more towards the melancholy side, so I tend to reflect that very much in my poetry.

      And yes, to your second paragraph, that is indeed essentially how I see it. As to this world being a "foretaste" of what is to come, I often think that, especially for certain personalities, those beautiful things we encounter in this life are like windows through which we catch a faith glimpse of what comes next. This comes, of course, with its pleasures and joys. But at a much deeper level - and this is what I tend to feel quite strongly - they also arouse a great sadness, a sadness at being on the wrong side of that window. We catch a glimpse, and the pleasure it gives us is a faint but sometimes painful reminder of the infinite joy we do not yet have. Hence the sadness.

      Anyway... It's something I could write and write about, so I'll stop here.

      Thanks again,
      The Maestro

  4. Hey, Maestro,

    You're most welcome! Please paste a copy of the poem to an email and send it here: campionsbrag@aol.com

    This would make things much easier, as I'm afraid my trying to paste the text from your blog to mine isn't working very well! Pictures and background coloration is getting in the way :-(