Vital spark of heav’nly flame!
Quit, oh quit this mortal frame:
Trembling, hoping, ling’ring, flying,
Oh, the pain, the bliss of dying!
Cease, fond nature, cease thy strife,
And let me languish into life.
Hark! they whisper; angels say,
“Sister spirit, come away!”
What is this absorbs me quite?
Steals my senses, shuts my sight,
Drowns my spirits, draws my breath?
Tell me, my soul, can this be death?
The world recedes; it disappears!
Heav’n opens on my eyes! my ears
With sounds seraphic ring:
Lend, lend your wings! I mount! I fly!
O grave! where is thy victory?
O death! where is thy sting?
– Alexander Pope (1688-1744), “The Dying Christian to his Soul,” Pope’s Poetical Works, p. 386