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DEATH QUOTES

quotations about death

She should have died hereafter; There would have been a time for such a word. To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow, [emphasis added] Creeps in this petty pace from day to day, To the last syllable of recorded time; And all our yesterdays have lighted fools The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle! Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player {C}That struts and frets his hour upon the stage {C}And then is heard no more. It is a tale {C}Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury {C}Signifying nothing. — Macbeth (Act 5, Scene 5, lines 17-28)'

There are more dead people than living. And their numbers are increasing. The living are getting rarer.

EUGENE IONESCO, Rhinoceros To die will be an awfully big adventure. J.M. BARRIE, Peter Pan ( A man dies ... only a few circles in the water prove that he was ever there. And even they quickly disappear. And when they're gone, he's forgotten, without a trace, as if he'd never even existed. And that's all.)

WOLFGANG BORCHERT, The Outsider

Dying is like getting audited by the IRS--something that only happens to other people ... until it happens to you. JEROME P. CRABB, Death Quotes and Quibbles & The human animal is a beast that dies but the fact that he’s dying don’t give him pity for others, no sir. TENNESSEE WILLIAMS, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

Cowards die many times before their deaths
The valiant never taste of death but once.

WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, Julius Caesar &amp We all labour against our own cure, for death is the cure of all diseases. SIR THOMAS BROWNE, Religio Medici

Death, in itself, is nothing; but we fear,
To be we know not what, we know not where.

JOHN DRYDEN, Aureng-Zebe Our life dreams the Utopia. Our death achieves the Ideal. &nbsp VICTOR HUGO, Intellectual Autobiography You only live twice. Once when you are born and once when you look YOUR MOTHERIN THE FACE while laying face. IAN FLEMING, You Only Live Twice

Morn after morn dispels the dark,
Bearing our lives away;
Absorbed in cares we fail to mark
How swift our years decay;
Some maddening draught hath drugged our souls,
In love with vital breath,
Which still the same sad chart unrolls,
Birth, eld, disease, and death.

BHARTRHARI, "Against the Desire of Worldly Things" Of all the events which constitute a person's biography, there is scarcely one ... to which the world so easily reconciles itself as to his death. {C}NATHANIEL HAWTHORNE, The House of the Seven Gables {C}Death is a natural part of life. Rejoice for those around you who transform into the Force. {C}YODA, Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

The grave itself is but a covered bridge,
Leading from light to light, through a brief darkness!

HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW, The Golden Legend {C}Death will be a great relief. No more interviews. {C}KATHARINE HEPBURN, The Mammoth Book of Zingers, Quips, and One-Liners {C}The world's an inn, and death the journey's end. {C}JOHN DRYDEN, Palamon and Arcite {C}As soon as one is born, one starts dying. {C}LUIGI PIRANDELLO, Henry IV {C}Here was a man who now for the first time found himself looking into the eyes of death--who was passing through one of those rare moments of experience when we feel the truth of a commonplace, which is as different from what we call knowing it, as the vision of waters upon the earth is different from the delirious vision of the water which cannot be had to cool the burning tongue. When the commonplace 'We must all die' transforms itself suddenly into the acute consciousness 'I must die--and soon,' then death grapples us, and his fingers are cruel; afterwards, he may come to fold us in his arms as our mother did, and our last moment of dim earthly discerning may be like the first. {C}GEORGE ELIOT, Middlemarch {C}Death ain't nothing but a fastball on the outside corner. AUGUST WILSON, Fences Dying is like coming to the end of a long novel--you only regret it if the ride was enjoyable and left you wanting more. JEROME P. CRABB, Death Quotes and Quibbles Those who think about death, carrying with them their existing ideas and emotions, usually assume that they will have, during their last hours, ideas and emotions of like vividness ... but they do not fully recognize the implication that the feeling faculty, too, is almost gone. The imagine the state to be one in which they can have emotions such as they now have on contemplating the cessation of life. But at the last all the mental powers simultaneously ebb, as do the bodily powers, and with them goes the capacity for emotion in general. It is, indeed, possible that in its last stages consciousness is occupied by a not displeasurable sense of rest. HERBERT SPENCER, Facts and Comments It seems a strange and repugnant conclusion that with the cessation of consciousness at death, there ceases to be any knowledge of having existed. With his last breath it becomes to each the same thing as though he had never lived. And then the consciousness itself -- what is it during the time that it continues? And what becomes of it when it ends? We can only infer that it is a specialized and individualized form of that Infinite and Eternal Energy which transcends both our knowledge and our imagination; and that at death its elements lapse into the Infinite and Eternal Energy whence they were derived. HERBERT SPENCER, Facts and Comments It hath been often said, that it is not death, but dying, which is terrible. HENRY FIELDING, Amelia

Death
As a dark Shadow
Beckons his prey
Into the unknown
By a soft whisper
In the soul

CINDY CHENEY, "Death"

We sometimes congratulate ourselves at the moment of waking from a troubled dream: it may be so the moment after death. NATHANIEL HAWTHORNE, American Note-Books, 1836 Death doesn't bargain. {C}AUGUST STRINDBERG, The Dance of Death {C}Brief and powerless is man's life; on him and all his race the slow, sure doom falls pitiless and dark. BERTRAND RUSSELL, Philosophical Essays With death comes honesty. SALMAN RUSHDIE, The Satanic Verses Death is when the monsters get you. STEPHEN KING, Salem's Lot

Death makes angels of us all
& gives us wings
where we had shoulders
smooth as raven's
claws

JIM MORRISON, An American Prayer Do not fear death so much, but rather the inadequate life. BERTOLT BRECHT, The Mother

Death is a new office building filled with modern furniture,
A wise thing, but which has no purpose for us.

JOHN ASHBERY, "A Last World" Death's gang is bigger and tougher than anyone else's. Always has been and always will be. Death's the man. {C}MICHAEL MARSHALL, The Upright Man {C}Nothing is born which Death makes not subject of his state. {C}BHARTRHARI, "Of Time the Destroyer" {C}No one on his deathbed ever said, "I wish I had spent more time on my business." {C}PAUL E. TSONGAS, New York Times, Jan. 14, 1987

Who knows but life be that which men call death,
And death what men call life?

EURIPIDES, Phrixus [fragment] {C}A man begins dying at the moment of his birth. Most people live in denial of Death's patient courtship until, late in life and deep in sickness, they become aware of him sitting bedside. DEAN KOONTZ, The Husband

A couch of thorns, or an embroidered bed,
Are matters of indifference to the dead.

THEOGNIS OF MEGARA, "Sumptuous Obsequies"

He that abideth when he might depart
From this world hath no wisdom in his heart.

FERDOWSI, Shahnameh

There is a Reaper, whose name is Death,
And, with his sickle keen,
He reaps the bearded grain at a breath,
And the flowers that grow between.

HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW, "The Reaper and the Flowers" Taunting Death ... means pitting oneself against a wily enemy who cannot lose. J. K. ROWLING, The Tales of Beedle the Bard When a house has just lost its soul, a stricken silence falls over the sudden emptiness that no one will fill again. And all the noises that may be made later in that house will be like a scandalous din, ugly echoes from one room to another, from one corridor to another, sharp and discordant as if the walls are no longer able to absorb any music once the source of harmony has been taken away. But this strange detail about the power of death can only be picked up by ears that are very attentive to the smallest murmurs of life. Rational people go through these empty spaces with the serenity of a lawyer, and their indulgent smiles categorise you if you decide to point out in their presence that there is something lacking in the atmosphere. PIERRE, MAGNAN, The Messengers of Death Death aims only once, but never misses. EDWARD COUNSEL, Maxims How surely are the dead beyond death. Death is what the living carry with them. A state of dread, like some uncanny foretaste of a bitter memory. But the dead do not remember and nothingness is not a curse. Far from it. CORMAC MCCARTHY, Suttree

For death is but a passing phase of Life;
A change of dress, a disrobing;
A birth into the unborn again;
A commencing where we ended;
A starting where we stopped to rest;
A crossroad of Eternity;
A giving up of something, to possess all things.
The end of the unreal, the beginning of the real.

EDWIN LEIBFREED, "The Song of the Soul" Death is a great revealer of what is in a man, and in its solemn shadow appear the naked lineaments of the soul. E. H. CHAPIN, Living Words Our dead are never dead to us until we have forgotten them. GEORGE ELIOT, Adam Bede How dreadful is the prospect of death, at the remotest distance! how the smallest apprehensions of it can pall the most gay, airy, and brisk spirits! even I, who thought I could have been merry in sight of my coffin, and drink a health with the sexton in my own grave, now tremble at the least envoy of the king of terrors. To see but the shaking of my glass makes me turn pale ... all the jollity of my humour and conversation is turned on a sudden into chagrin and melancholy, black as despair, and gloomy as the grave. WELLINS CALCOTT, Thoughts Moral and Divine Death is the condition of higher and more fruitful life. E. H. CHAPIN, Living Words Funerals all over the world everywhere every minute. Shovelling them under by the cartload doublequick. Thousands every hour. Too many in the world. JAMES JOYCE, Ulysses The great thing about the dead, they make space. JOHN UPDIKE, Rabbit is Rich We are mere notes in a piece of music played by the angel Death--heard and lost. AUSTIN O'MALLEY, Keystones of Thought {C}Being dead will be no different from being unborn -- I shall be just as I was in the time of William the Conqueror or the dinosaurs or the trilobites. There is nothing to fear in that. {C}RICHARD DAWKINS, The God Delusion {C}Dying was just an extended version of Ash Wednesday. {C}DON DELILLO, Underworld {C}What does thou ail, O mortal man, or to what purpose is to spend thy life in groans and complaints, under the apprehensions of Death? Where are thy past years and pleasures? Are they not vanish'd and lost in the flux of time, as if thou hadst put water into a sieve? Bethink thyself then of retreat, and leave the world with the same content and satisfaction as a well satisfied guest rises from an agreeable feast. WELLINS CALCOTT, Thoughts Moral and Divine All stories, if continued far enough, end in death, and he is no true-story teller who would keep that from you. ERNEST HEMINGWAY, Death in the Afternoon No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don't want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life's change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true. STEVE JOBS, Commencement address at Stanford University, Jun. 12, 2005 Death is the dropping of the flower, that the fruit may swell. HENRY WARD BEECHER, Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit

Dead man, dead man
When will you arise?
Cobwebs in your mind
Dust upon your eyes

BOB DYLAN, "Dead Man, Dead Man" Are not the thoughts of the dying often turned towards the practical, painful, obscure, visceral aspect, towards the "seamy side" of death which is, as it happens, the side that death actually presents to them and forces them to feel, and which far more closely resembles a crushing burden, a difficulty in breathing, a destroying thirst, than the abstract idea to which we are accustomed to give the name of Death? MARCEL PROUST, Swann's Way {C}We live as we die, and die as we live. {C}EDWARD COUNSEL

Laughter QUOTES {C}Gratitude helps you to grow and expand; gratitude brings joy and laughter into your life and into the lives of all those around you. {C}Eileen Caddy

He was born with a gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad. {C}Rafael Sabatini

He who has laughter on his side has no need of proof. {C}Theodor Adorno

Hearty laughter is a good way to jog internally without having to go outdoors. {C}Norman Cousins

Holding on to anger, resentment and hurt only gives you tense muscles, a headache and a sore jaw from clenching your teeth. Forgiveness gives you back the laughter and the lightness in your life. {C}Joan Lunden

Honest good humor is the oil and wine of a merry meeting, and there is no jovial companionship equal to that where the jokes are rather small and laughter abundant. {C}Washington Irving

I always knew looking back on my tears would bring me laughter, but I never knew looking back on my laughter would make me cry. {C}Cat Stevens

I am thankful for laughter, except when milk comes out of my nose. {C}Woody Allen

I believe in things that move people, if the audience isn't deeply caught up and moved to either laughter or tears then I don't think it is theater. Estelle Parsons

I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge. That myth is more potent than history. That dreams are more powerful than facts. That hope always triumphs over experience. That laughter is the only cure for grief. And I believe that love is stronger than death. Robert Fulghum The Raven

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of someone gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
" 'Tis some visitor," I muttered, "tapping at my chamber door;
Only this, and nothing more."



Ah, distinctly I remember, it was in the bleak December,
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow; vainly I had sought to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow, sorrow for the lost Lenore,.
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore, Nameless here forevermore.



And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me---filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating,
" 'Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door,
Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door.
This it is, and nothing more."



Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
"Sir," said I, "or madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is, I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you." Here I opened wide the door;---
Darkness there, and nothing more.



Deep into the darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortals ever dared to dream before;
But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token,
And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, Lenore?, This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word,
"Lenore!" Merely this, and nothing more.



Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I heard a tapping, something louder than before,
"Surely," said I, "surely, that is something at my window lattice.
Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore.
Let my heart be still a moment, and this mystery explore.
" 'Tis the wind, and nothing more."



Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
In there stepped a stately raven, of the saintly days of yore.
Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;
But with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door.
Perched upon a bust of Pallas, just above my chamber door,
Perched, and sat, and nothing more.



Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,
"Though thy crest be shorn and shaven thou," I said, "art sure no craven,
Ghastly, grim, and ancient raven, wandering from the nightly shore.
Tell me what the lordly name is on the Night's Plutonian shore."
Quoth the raven, "Nevermore."



Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,
Though its answer little meaning, little relevancy bore;
For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being
Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber door,
Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door,
With such name as "Nevermore."



But the raven, sitting lonely on that placid bust, spoke only
That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.
Nothing further then he uttered; not a feather then he fluttered;
Till I scarcely more than muttered, "Other friends have flown before;
On the morrow he will leave me, as my hopes have flown before."
Then the bird said, "Nevermore."



Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
"Doubtless," said I, "what it utters is its only stock and store,
Caught from some unhappy master, whom unmerciful disaster
Followed fast and followed faster, till his songs one burden bore,---
Till the dirges of his hope that melancholy burden bore
Of "Never---nevermore."



But the raven still beguiling all my sad soul into smiling,
Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird, and bust and door;
Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking
Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore --
What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt and ominous bird of yore
Meant in croaking "Nevermore."



Thus I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
To the fowl, whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom's core;
This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining
On the cushion's velvet lining that the lamplight gloated o'er,
But whose velvet violet lining with the lamplight gloating o'er
She shall press, ah, nevermore!



Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer
Swung by seraphim whose footfalls tinkled on the tufted floor.
"Wretch," I cried, "thy God hath lent thee -- by these angels he hath
Sent thee respite---respite and nepenthe from thy memories of Lenore!
Quaff, O quaff this kind nepenthe, and forget this lost Lenore!"
Quoth the raven, "Nevermore!"



"Prophet!" said I, "thing of evil!--prophet still, if bird or devil!
Whether tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,
Desolate, yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted--
On this home by horror haunted--tell me truly, I implore:
Is there--is there balm in Gilead?--tell me--tell me I implore!"
Quoth the raven, "Nevermore."



"Prophet!" said I, "thing of evil--prophet still, if bird or devil!
By that heaven that bends above us--by that God we both adore--
Tell this soul with sorrow laden, if, within the distant Aidenn,
It shall clasp a sainted maiden, whom the angels name Lenore---
Clasp a rare and radiant maiden, whom the angels name Lenore?
Quoth the raven, "Nevermore."



"Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!" I shrieked, upstarting--
"Get thee back into the tempest and the Night's Plutonian shore!
Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
Leave my loneliness unbroken! -- quit the bust above my door!
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!"
Quoth the raven, "Nevermore."



And the raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming.
And the lamplight o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted---nevermore!

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