649. Death

Thomas Hood. 1798-1845

IT is not death, that sometime in a sigh
  This eloquent breath shall take its speechless flight;
That sometime these bright stars, that now reply
  In sunlight to the sun, shall set in night;
  That this warm conscious flesh shall perish quite,
And all life's ruddy springs forget to flow;
  That thoughts shall cease, and the immortal sprite
Be lapp'd in alien clay and laid below;
It is not death to know this--but to know
  That pious thoughts, which visit at new graves
In tender pilgrimage, will cease to go
  So duly and so oft--and when grass waves
Over the pass'd-away, there may be then
No resurrection in the minds of men.

The Oxford Book of English Verse, HTML edition