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Silex Scintillans
Death: A Dialogue

by Henry Vaughan

Soul
           'Tis a sad Land, that in one day 
           Hath dull'd thee thus; when death shall freeze 
           Thy blood to ice, and thou must stay 
           Tenant for years, and centuries; 
           How wilt thou brook't? 

Body
           I cannot tell; 
           But if all sense wings not with thee, 
           And something still be left the dead, 
           I'll wish my curtains off, to free 
           Me from so dark and sad a bed: 

           A nest of nights, a gloomy sphere, 
           Where shadows thicken, and the cloud 
           Sits on the sun's brow all the year, 
           And nothing moves without a shroud. 
           
Soul
           'Tis so: but as thou saw'st that night 
           We travail'd in, our first attempts 
           Were dull and blind, but custom straight 
           Our fears and falls brought to contempt: 

           Then, when the ghastly twelve was past, 
           We breath'd still for a blushing East, 
           And bade the lazy sun make haste, 
           And on sure hopes, though long, did feast. 

           But when we saw the clouds to crack, 
           And in those crannies light appear'd, 
           We thought the day then was not slack, 
           And pleas'd ourselves with what we fear'd. 

           Just so it is in death.   But thou 
           Shalt in thy mother's bosom sleep, 
           Whilst I each minute groan to know 
           How near Redemption creeps. 

           Then shall we meet to mix again, and met, 
           'Tis last good-night; our Sun shall never set.
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