Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895
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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895.  1895.
 
Teach Us to Die
 
Arthur Penrhyn Stanley (1815–81)
 
 
WHERE shall we learn to die?
Go, gaze with steadfast eye
On dark Gethsemane
Or darker Calvary,
Where through each lingering hour        5
The Lord of grace and power,
Most lowly and most high,
Has taught the Christian how to die.
 
When in the olive shade
His long last prayer he pray’d,        10
When on the cross to heaven
His parting spirit was given,
He show’d that to fulfil
The Father’s gracious will,
Not asking how or why,        15
Alone prepares the soul to die.
 
No word of anxious strife,
No anxious cry for life;
By scoff and torture torn,
He speaks not scorn for scorn;        20
Calmly forgiving those
Who deem themselves his foes,
In silent majesty
He points the way at peace to die.
 
Delighting to the last        25
In memories of the past;
Glad at the parting meal
In lowly tasks to kneel;
Still yearning to the end
For mother and for friend;        30
His great humility
Loves in such acts of love to die.
 
Beyond his depth of woes
A wider thought arose,
Along his path of gloom,        35
Thought for his country’s doom;
Athwart all pain and grief,
Thought for the contrite thief:
The far-stretch’d sympathy
Lives on when all beside shall die.        40
 
Bereft, but not alone,
The world is still his own;
The realm of deathless truth
Still breathes immortal youth;
Sure, though in shuddering dread,        45
That all is finished,
With purpose fix’d and high
The friend of all mankind must die.
 
Oh, by those weary hours
Of slowly-ebbing powers;        50
By those deep lessons heard
In each expiring word;
By that unfailing love
Lifting the soul above,
When our last end is nigh,        55
So teach us, Lord, with thee to die.
 

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