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Bryant, William Cullen. "Meditation on Death".


Addresses a lover of Nature. Nature lover can perceive its various language which changes according to the listener's mood: if he is gay, so is the nature, if he is sad, the nature is sympathetic.

When a person is overwhelmed by the thoughts of one's last hour, he should leave the house and go under the open sky to listen the Nature's teachings. In a few days the person perishes and is mixed with the nature's elements: buried in the earth which nourished him.

No one will retire alone to grave, but accompanied with the powerful dead of the earth, kings, patriarchs, the wise, etc. The nature is but a solemn decoration of the tomb of millions of dead from the beginning of the time. If a person is not grieved over and passes away unnoticed, the people who did not notice his death will share his destiny anyway.

All the people will die, be it in infancy, in the beauty of youth or in the old age. So a person who approaches the grave should be soothed by trust. Concludes with an urge so that we shall trust in something or somebody who remains unspecified.


  • Author

    Bryant, William Cullen. (1794 - 1878).
  • Full Title

    "Meditation on Death".
  • Form


Works Cited

Bryant, William Cullen. "Meditation on Death". In: The Norton Anthology of American Literature. Ed. Nina Baym et al. NY: Norton, 1989.


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