“What is dying?
I am standing in the sea shore,
a ship sails to the morning breeze
and starts for the ocean.
She is an object of beauty
and I stand watching her
till at last she fades
on the horizon
and someone at my side says,
‘She is gone.’
Gone from my sight–that is all.
She is just as large in the masts, hull and spars
as she was when I saw her,
and just as able to bear her load of living
freight to its destination.
The diminished size and total loss of sight is in me,
not in her;
and just at the moment when someone at my side says,
‘she is gone’
there are others who are watching her coming,
and others take up a glad shout–
‘There she comes!’ – and that is dying.”
The author of this poem is probably William Blake although some doubts remain as to the autorship of these words.
Nevertheless it is a poem which is often recited during a funeral…