CHORUS OF THE DEAD IN RUYSCH’S LABORATORY:

CHORUS OF THE DEAD IN RUYSCH’S LABORATORY:

O DEATH, thou one eternal thing,
That takest all within thine arms,
In thee our coarser nature rests
In peace, set free from life’s alarms:
Joyless and painless is our state.
Our spirits now no more are torn
By racking thought, or earthly fears;
Hope and desire are now unknown,
Nor know we aught of sorrow’s tears.
Time flows in one unbroken stream,
As void of ennui as a dream.
The troubles we on earth endured
Have vanished; yet we sometimes see
Their phantom shapes, as in a mist
Of mingled thought and memory:
They now can vex our souls no more.
What is that life we lived on earth?
A mystery now it seems to be,
Profound as is the thought of death,
To wearers of mortality.
And as from death the living flee,
So from the vital flame flee we.
Our portion now is peaceful rest,
Joyless, painless. We are not blest
With happiness; that is forbid
Both to the living and the dead.

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