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All Souls' Day

Language: English

Be careful, then, and be gentle about death.
For it is hard to die, 
it is difficult to go through the door, 
even when it opens.

And the poor dead, when they have left
the walled and silvery city 
of the now hopeless body
where are they to go, Oh where are they to go?

They linger in the shadow of the earth.
The earth’s long conical shadow is full of souls
that cannot find the way across the sea of change.

Be kind, Oh be kind to your dead
and give them a little encouragement
and help them to build their little ship of death
for the soul has a long, long journey after death
to the sweet home of pure oblivion.
Each needs a little ship, a little ship
and the proper store of meal for the longest journey.
Oh, from out of your heart
provide your dead once more, equip them
like departing mariners, lovingly.

Translation(s): GER

List of language codes

Confirmed with The Complete Poems of D. H. Lawrence with an introduction and notes by David Ellis, Wordsworth Poetry Library, 1994/2002.

Submitted by Bertram Kottmann


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Available translations, adaptations, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , title 1: "Allerseelen", copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Text added to the website: 2016-11-08.
Last modified: 2016-11-08 17:26:21
Line count: 21
Word count: 158

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