Verse > Anthologies > The Oxford Book of English Mystical Verse > 4. I dye alive
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Nicholson & Lee, eds.  The Oxford Book of English Mystical Verse. 1917.
  
4. I dye alive
By Robert Southwell  (?1561–1595)
  
O LIFE! what letts thee from a quicke decease?
  O death! what drawes thee from a present praye?
My feast is done, my soule would be at ease,
  My grace is saide; O death! come take awaye.
 
I live, but such a life as ever dyes;        5
  I dye, but such a death as never endes;
My death to end my dying life denyes,
  And life my living death no whitt amends.
 
Thus still I dye, yet still I do revive;
  My living death by dying life is fedd;       10
Grace more then nature kepes my hart alive,
  Whose idle hopes and vayne desires are deade.
 
Not where I breath, but where I love, I live;
  Not where I love, but where I am, I die;
The life I wish, must future glory give,       15
  The deaths I feele in present daungers lye.

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