Verse > Anthologies > Andrew Macphail, ed. > The Book of Sorrow
Andrew Macphail, comp.  The Book of Sorrow.  1916.
XXXIV. Compensation
From ‘Beautiful Death’
By Stephen Phillips (1868–1915)
WHY dreadest thou the calm process of death?
To miss thy wife’s illuminating smile?
No more to proudly touch thy child’s bright hair?
To leave this glorying green, this flashing sun?
Yet Death is full of leisure, and of light;        5
Of compensations and of huge amends.
Since all the dead do for the living toil,
Assisting, bathing, in the air, the earth;
A shower their sympathy draws from the ground,
Delicious kindness from the soil exhaled….        10
Blind shall I be and good, dumb and serene:
I shall not blame, nor question; I shall shine
Diffused and tolerant, luminous and large.
No longer shall I vex, but live my life
In solaces, caresses, and in balms,        15
Nocturnal soothings and nutritious sighs.
The unhappy mind an odour shall be breathed;
I shall be sagely blown, flung with design,
Assist this bland and universal scheme,
Industrious, happy, sweet, delicious, dead!        20

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