Download Friends Beyond Study Guide

Subscribe Now

"Death Gave All That We Possess"

(Magill's Quotations in Context)

Context: The speaker, an old country man, meditates in the quiet hours of the night, thinking of his friends who now lie buried in the churchyard. At times it seems as if they whisper to him, and their messages are all the same: life for them was burdensome and a succession of trials, and they are relieved that death has released them from it. Some of these spirits speak, revealing their indifference to what happens to their homes and survivors; they are immune to all human cares, including the very fear of death. In fact, they regard death with gratitude, for it was through their dying that they attained the tranquillity they now enjoy.

"No more need we corn and clothing, feel of old
terrestial stress;
Chill detraction stirs no sigh;
Fear of death has even bygone us: death gave
all that we possess."