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Alfred Tennyson, 1809-1892

"Why Should We Weep for Those Who Die"
from Poems by Two Brothers (London: Simpkin & Marshall; Louth, J. & J. Jackson, 1827).

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Image of the text of "Why Should We Weep for Those Who Die?"

"Quamobrem, si dolorum finem mors affert, si securioris et melioris initi-
um vitæ: si futura mala avertit---cur eam tantopere accusare, ex qua potius
consolationem et lætitiam haurire fas esset?"---CICERO

 WHY should we weep for those who die?
   They fall--their dust returns to dust;
 Their souls shall live eternally
   Within the mansions of the just.

 They die to live--they sink to rise,
   They leave this wretched mortal shore;
 But brighter suns and bluer skies
   Shall smile on them for evermore.

 Why should we sorrow for the dead?
   Our life on earth is but a span;                           10
 They tread the path that all must tread,
   They die the common death of man.

 The noblest songster of the gale
   Must cease, when Winter's frowns appear;
 The reddest rose is wan and pale,
   When Autumn tints the changing year.

 The fairest flower on earth must fade,
   The brightest hopes on earth must die:
 Why should we mourn that man was made
   To droop on earth, but dwell on high?                      20

 The soul, th' eternal soul, must reign
   In worlds devoid of pain or strife;
 Then why should mortal man complain
   Of death, which leads to happier life?

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Updated 2 August 1999 by the Department of Rare Books and Special Collections.
Copyright © 1999, the University of South Carolina.