After Death nothing is, and nothing Death

John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester, The latter end of the Chorus of the Second Act of Seneca’s Troas, translated (c.1680)

After Death nothing is, and nothing Death;
The utmost lymitt of a Gaspe of Breath.
Lett the ambitious Zealott lay aside
His Hope of Heav’n; (whose Faith is but his Pride)
Lett slavish Soules lay by their Feare,
Nor be concern’d which way, or where,
After this Life wee shall bee hurl’d:
Dead, Wee become the Lumber of the World;
And to that Masse of Matter shall be swept,
Where things destroy’d with things unborne are kept;
Devouring Tyme swallows Us whole,
Impartiall Death confounds Body and Soule.
For Hell, and the foule Fiend that rules
Gods everlasting fiery Jayles,
Devis’d by Rogues, dreaded by Fools,
With his grim grisly Dogg that keepes the Doore,
Are Sencelesse Storyes, idle Tales,
Dreames, whimseys, and noe more.


Categories: Literature