Together Again

From too much love of living,

From fear and hope set free,

We thank with brief thanksgiving

Whatever gods may be

That no life lives for ever;

That dead men rise up never;

That even the weariest river

Winds somewhere safe to sea.

Stanza from “Proserpine” by Swinburne

Stoics use reason to defeat useless, detrimental and excessive emotion.  As I discussed in my post “The Mystery Emotion” grief is the most stubborn emotion, most resistant to reason.  However, with the help of “Time’s all wearing wave” (Emily Bronte’s phrase), reason can make inroads.  One thought in reason’s arsenal is the naturalness of death.  There is nothing more uniform, throughout all species, and immortality (at least enjoyed solely and probably even by all) would be a strange and terrible curse. Swinburne’s lines, above, express that idea. Together again, philosophy and literature have linked arms.

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