"All our times have come
Here but now they're gone
Seasons don't fear the reaper
Nor do the wind, the sun or the rain
We can be like they are...

Then the door was open and the wind appeared
The candles blew then disappeared
The curtains flew then he appeared
Saying don't be afraid..."


~ Blue Oyster Cult  - (Don't Fear) the Reaper Agents of Fortune 1976

To One Shortly to Die
By Walt Whitman


FROM all the rest I single out you, having a message for you:
You are to die - Let others tell you what they please, I cannot prevaricate,
I am exact and merciless, but I love you - There is no escape for you.

Softly I lay my right hand upon you - you just feel it,
I do not argue - I bend my head close, and half envelope it,
I sit quietly by - I remain faithful,
I am more than nurse, more than parent or neighbor,
I absolve you from all except yourself, spiritual, bodily - that is eternal - you yourself will
surely escape,
The corpse you will leave will be but excrementitious.

The sun bursts through in unlooked-for directions!
Strong thoughts fill you, and confidence - you smile!
You forget you are sick, as I forget you are sick,
You do not see the medicines - you do not mind the weeping friends - I am with you,
I exclude others from you - there is nothing to be commiserated,
I do not commiserate - I congratulate you.

Source: Whitman, Walt. Leaves of Grass. Philadelphia: David McKay, [c1900]

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