Monday, 24 June 2013

Raleigh's Epitaph

Even such is time, which takes in trust
Our youth, our joys, and all we have,
And pays us but with age and dust,
Who in the dark and silent grave
When we have wandered all our ways
Shuts up the story of our days,
And from which earth, and grave, and dust
The Lord will raise me up, I trust.

Lines above are Sir Walter Raleigh's. Stories say that he wrote it the night before his execution. It was found in his Bible – a good place to write your last words. I have no idea what's wrong with me or what's so right with him that I feel very sorry for his death. I mean, I don't even know him or what kind of person he is. I only know that he was a soldier, a captain, a pirate (legal one), and a courtier. He's one of Elizabeth I's favourites, I heard.

The poem above is so beautiful. It starts rather sadly, for the writer knew that he must die. It's just the rule of nature. But the last two lines express his hope to raise again, to live again by God's Almighty power.

Apart from reading this poem, I also read his last speech right before his execution, and also some reports on his trial. He was a good, eloquent, persuasive speaker. I told you, I almost cried reading those.

Truly this makes me think what I would leave when I know it is the end. Perhaps I should start writing my own epitaph.

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