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…
Milton, Paradise Lost, Book VI, 344-347
Men linger in the memory, in the words they placed on paper,
The children they cared for, the homes where they used to reside
Continuing to live long after they have died.
Obliterate my creation! Burn all who knew me,
End all recollection of my existence at this time,
That finally, by annihilation, I might truly die.
One of the interesting elements of Paradise Lost is when Milton reflects on the nature of angels – they eat, and have a rather gaseous form of intercourse. More predictably, perhaps, they cannot easily die – but in Book VI, many do in the dreadful war.
The Hapless Neo Romantic