For us alone
Was death invented?
Milton, Paradise Lost, Book IX, 766-7
Alone must we die, and suffer in silence,
Each of us departing from this plane,
Though before us we have seen many deaths,
Not once have we joined some mortal soul
As it enters the darkness beyond.
Perhaps it is not darkness, but blazing light,
That shines beyond the heavy door
Or else, not light, but a world suspended
In a glorious harmony, or smashed
By one discordant note. We do not know,
And so, to us, of death we remain ignorant,
It is void.
Each of us leaves this world alone,
And undergoes their own subjective death.
Alone we leave the places we knew –
Perhaps none other has ever truly died.
Another wonderful insight, curtesy of Milton. How would it feel to suddenly have mortality become part of your life, before your own eyes? How would it feel to know nothing of what death was like? I am fond of Milton, as you know – it’s moments like this that explain why.
The Hapless Neo-Romantic