Sing for the joy that's found in setting up the pins and knocking them down

Friday, December 27, 2013

For the love of death poetry...

In Bart's funeral homily he made mention of Eric's love for poems about death.  Any of our children will tell you that he had several of them memorized and recited them often to us.  This was probably his very favorite, or at least it was the one that we heard most often.  As I've read it after his passing, I understand why it was his favorite and now is mine.  It was how he lived and how he faced the hard things that came his way.  I think we have a new appreciation for these words as we face our future.

How Did You Die?
Did you tackle that trouble that came your way
With a resolute heart and cheerful?
Or hide your face from the light of day
With a craven soul and fearful?
Oh, a trouble’s a ton, or a trouble’s an ounce,
Or a trouble is what you make it.
And it isn’t the fact that you’re hurt that counts,
But only how did you take it?
You are beaten to earth? Well, well, what’s that?
Come up with a smiling face.
It’s nothing against you to fall down flat,
But to lie there – that’s disgrace.
The harder you’re thrown, why the higher you bounce;
Be proud of your blackened eye!
It isn’t the fact that you’re licked that counts;
It’s how did you fight and why?
And though you be done to the death, what then?
If you battled the best you could;
If you played your part in the world of men,
Why the Critic will call it good.
Death comes with a crawl, or comes with a pounce,
And whether he’s slow or spry,
It isn’t that fact that you’re dead that counts,
But only how did you die?
-Edmund Vance Cooke

No comments:

Post a Comment