|It must be soPlato, thou reasonest well!|
Else whence this pleasing hope, this fond desire,
This longing after immortality?
Or whence this secret dread, and inward horror,
Of falling into nought? Why shrinks the soul
Back on herself, and startles at destruction?
Tis the divinity that stirs within us;
Tis heaven itself, that points out an hereafter,
And intimates eternity to man.
AddisonCato. Act V. Sc. 1.
|The stars shall fade away, the sun himself|
Grow dim with age, and nature sink in years,
But thou shalt flourish in immortal youth,
Unhurt amidst the wars of elements,
The wrecks of matter, and the crush of worlds.
AddisonCato. Act V. Sc. 1.
|No, no! The energy of life may be|
Kept on after the grave, but not begun;
And he who flaggd not in the earthly strife,
From strength to strength advancingonly he
His soul well-knit, and all his battles won,
Mounts, and that hardly, to eternal life.
Matthew ArnoldSonnet. Immortality.
|On the cold cheek of Death smiles and roses are blending,|
And beauty immortal awakes from the tomb.
James BeattieThe Hermit. St. 6. Last lines.
|Fish say, they have their Stream and Pond;|
But is there anything Beyond?
| There is nothing strictly immortal, but immortality. Whatever hath no beginning may be confident of no end.|
Sir Thomas BrowneHydrotaphia. Ch. V.
| If I stoop|
Into a dark tremendous sea of cloud,
It is but for a time; I press Gods lamp
Close to my breast; its splendor soon or late
Will pierce the gloom; I shall emerge one day.
Robert BrowningParacelsus. Last lines.
| I have been dying for twenty years, now I am going to live.|
Jas. Drummond BurnsHis Last Words.
|A good man never dies.|
| Immortality is the glorious discovery of Christianity.|
Wm. Ellery ChanningImmortality.
|Tis immortality to die aspiring,|
As if a man were taken quick to heaven.
Geo. ChapmanByrons Conspiracy. Act I. Sc. 1. L. 254.
| Nemo unquam sine magna spe immortalitatatis se pro patria offerret ad mortem.|
No one could ever meet death for his country without the hope of immortality.
CiceroTusculanarum Disputationum. I. 15.
| For I never have seen, and never shall see, that the cessation of the evidence of existence is necessarily evidence of the cessation of existence.|
William De MorganJoseph Vance. Ch. XL.
| Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was; and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.|
Ecclesiastes. XII. 7.
|Thus Gods children are immortall whiles their|
Father hath anything for them to do on earth.
FullerChurch History. Bk. II. Century VIII. 18. On Bedes Death.
|Yet spirit immortal, the tomb cannot bind thee,|
But like thine own eagle that soars to the sun
Thou springest from bondage and leavest behind thee
A name which before thee no mortal hath won.
Attributed to Lyman HeathThe Grave of Bonaparte.
|Tis true; tis certain; man though dead retains|
Part of himself; the immortal mind remains.
HomerIliad. Bk. XXIII. L. 122. Popes trans.
|Dignum laude virum Musa vetat mori;|
Clo Musa beat.
The muse does not allow the praise-deserving hero to die: she enthrones him in the heavens.
HoraceCarmina. IV. 8. 28.
|But all lost things are in the angels keeping, Love;|
No past is dead for us, but only sleeping, Love;
The years of Heaven with all earths little pain
Together there we can begin again
Helen Hunt JacksonAt Last. St. 6.
|No, no, Im sure,|
My restless spirit never could endure
To brood so long upon one luxury,
Unless it did, though fearfully, espy
A hope beyond the shadow of a dream.
KeatsEndymion. Bk. I.
|He neer is crowned with immortality|
Who fears to follow where airy voices lead.
KeatsEndymion. Bk. II.
| I long to believe in immortality. * * * If I am destined to be happy with you herehow short is the longest life. I wish to believe in immortalityI wish to live with you forever.|
KeatsLetters to Fanny Brawne. XXXVI.
|Men are immortal till their work is done.|
David LivingstoneLetter. Describing the death of Bishop Mackenzie in Africa. March, 1862.
|And in the wreck of noble lives|
Something immortal still survives.
LongfellowThe Building of the Ship. L. 375.
|Safe from temptation, safe from sins pollution,|
She lives, whom we call dead.
LongfellowResignation. St. 7.
| I came from God, and Im going back to God, and I wont have any gaps of death in the middle of my life.|
George MacDonaldMary Marston. Ch. LVII.
|Of such as he was, there be few on earth;|
Of such as he is, there are few in Heaven:
And life is all the sweeter that he lived,
And all he loved more sacred for his sake:
And Death is all the brighter that he died,
And Heaven is all the happier that hes there.
Gerald MasseyIn Memoriam for Earl Brownlow.
| For who would lose,|
Though full of pain, this intellectual being,
Those thoughts that wander through eternity,
To perish rather, swallowd up and lost
In the wide womb of uncreated night,
Devoid of sense and motion?
MiltonParadise Lost. Bk. II. L. 146.
|They eat, they drink, and in communion sweet|
Quaff immortality and joy.
MiltonParadise Lost. Bk. V. L. 637.
| For spirits that live throughout|
Vital in every part, not as frail man,
In entrails, heart or head, liver or reins,
Cannot but by annihilating die.
MiltonParadise Lost. Bk. VI. L. 345.
|When the good man yields his breath|
(For the good man never dies).
MontgomeryThe Wanderer of Switzerland. Pt. V.
Alone could teach this mortal how to die.
D. M. MulockLooking Death in the Face. L. 77.
|Tamque opus exegi quod nec Jovis ira necignes|
Nec poterit ferrum, nec edax abolere vetustas.
Cum volet illa dies quæ nil nisi corporis hujus
Jus habet, incerti spatium mihi siniut ævi;
Parte tamen meliore mei super alta perennis
Astra ferar, nomenque erit indelebile nostrum.
And now have I finished a work which neither the wrath of Jove, nor fire, nor steel, nor all-consuming time can destroy. Welcome the day which can destroy only my physical man in ending my uncertain life. In my better part I shall be raised to immortality above the lofty stars, and my name shall never die.
OvidMetamorphoses. XV. 871.
|Sunt aliquid Manes; letum non omnia finit.|
Luridaque evictos effugit umbra rogos.
There is something beyond the grave; death does not put an end to everything, the dark shade escapes from the consumed pile.
PropertiusElegiæ. IV. 7. 1.
|Look, heres the warrant, Claudio, for thy death:|
Tis now dead midnight, and by eight tomorrow
Thou must be made immortal.
Measure for Measure. Act IV. Sc. 2. L. 66.
| I hold it ever,|
Virtue and cunning were endowments greater
Than nobleness and riches: careless heirs
May the two latter darken and expend;
But immortality attends the former,
Making a man a god.
Pericles. Act III. Sc. 2. L. 26.
|It And her immortal part with angels lives.|
Romeo and Juliet. Act V. Sc. 1. L. 19.
| What a world were this,|
How unendurable its weight, if they
Whom Death hath sundered did not meet again!
SoutheyInscription XVII. Epitaph.
|Thy lord shall never die, the whiles this verse|
Shall live, and surely it shall live for ever:
For ever it shall live, and shall rehearse
His worthy praise, and vertues dying never,
Though death his soule do from his bodie sever:
And thou thyselfe herein shalt also live;
Such grace the heavens doe to my verses give.
SpenserThe Ruines of Time. L. 253.
|I am restless. I am athirst for faraway things.|
My soul goes out in a longing to touch the skirt of the dim distance.
O Great Beyond, O the keen call of thy flute!
I forget, I ever forget, that I have no wings to fly, that I am bound in this spot evermore.
Rabindranath TagoreGardener. 5.
|Ah, Christ, that it were possible,|
For one short hour to see
The souls we loved, that they might tell us
What and where they be.
TennysonMaud. Pt. XXVI.
|It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles,|
And see the great Achilles, whom we knew.
TennysonUlysses. L. 65.
|But felt through all this fleshly dresse|
Bright shootes of everlastingnesse.
Henry VaughanThe Retreate.
|Facte nova virtute, puer; sic itur ad astra.|
Go on and increase in valor, O boy! this is the path to immortality.
VergilÆneid. IX. 641.
|Happy he whose inward ear|
Angel comfortings can hear,
Oer the rabbles laughter;
And, while Hatreds fagots burn,
Glimpses through the smoke discern
Of the good hereafter.
WhittierBarclay of Ury.
|Man is immortal till his work is done.|
James WilliamsSonnet Ethandune. Claimed for Williams in the Guardian, Nov. 17, 1911; also Nov. 24.
|Though inland far we be,|
Our souls have sight of that immortal sea
Which brought us hither.
WordsworthOde. Intimations of Immortality. St. 9.
|Tis immortality, tis that alone,|
Amid lifes pains, abasements, emptiness,
The soul can comfort, elevate, and fill.
That only, and that amply this performs.
YoungNight Thoughts. Night VI. L. 573.