Death, Dying, Grief and Mourning

            "Death is always the same,
                               but each man dies in his own way."

Carson McCullers, Clock Without Hands, 1960


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in Western Literature

An Anthology by  Adrienne Nater

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Death, Dying, Grief, and Mourning

in Western Literature


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Omar Khayyam, Rubaiyat
Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, 1115

Death of Omar Khayyam

Death of Omar Khayyam:


And we, that now make merry in the Room

They left, and Summer dresses in new Bloom,

  Ourselves must we beneath the Couch of Earth

Descend, ourselves to make a Couch — for whom?     



Ah, make the most of what we yet may spend,

Before we too into Dust Descend;

 Dust to Dust, and under Dust, to lie,

Sans Wine, sans Song, sans Singer and — sans End!



Alike for those for TO-DAY prepare,

And those that after tomorrow stare,

  A Muezzin from the Tower of Darkness cries

“Fools! Your Reward is neither Here nor There”



Oh, come with old Khayyam, and leave the wise

To talk; one thing is certain, that Life flies;

  One thing is certain, and the Rest is Lies;

The Flower that once has blown forever dies. 


There was a Door to which I found  no Key:

There was a Veil past which I could not see:

  Some little Talk awhile of Me and Thee

There seemed — and then no more of Thee and Me. 



While the Rose blows along the River Brink,

With old Khayyam the Ruby Vintage drink:

  And when the Angel with his darker Draught

Draws up to thee — take that, and do not shrink.



Ah, with the Grape my fading Life provide,

And wash my Body whence the life has died,

 And in a Windingsheet of Vineleaf wrapt,

So bury me by some sweet Gardenside. 




Adrienne Nater, 2008

©© 2008 Adrienne Nater. All rights reserved.