The Perfect Death.

Disce mori.
Where shall we learn to die ?1
Go, gaze with steadfast eye2
On dark Gethsemane,3
Or darker Calvary,4
Where, thro’ each lingering hour,5
The Lord of grace and power,6
Most lowly and most High,7
Has taught the Christian how to die.8
When in the olive shade,9
His long last prayer He prayed ;10
When on the Cross to heaven11
His parting spirit was given,12
He showed that to fulfil13
The Father’s gracious Will,14
Not asking how or why,15
Alone prepares the soul to die.16
No word of angry strife,17
No anxious cry for life ;18
By scoff and torture torn19
He speaks not scorn for scorn ;20
Calmly forgiving those21
Who deem themselves His foes,22
In silent majesty23
He points the way at peace to die.24
Delighting to the last25
In memories of the past ;26
Glad at the parting meal27
In lowly tasks to kneel ;28
Still yearning to the end29
For mother and for friend ;30
His great humility31
Loves in such acts of love to die.32
Beyond His depth of woes33
A wider thought arose,34
Along His path of gloom35
Thought for His country’s doom,36
Athwart all pain and grief,37
Thought for the contrite thief38
The far-stretched sympathy39
Lives on when all beside shall die.40
Bereft but not alone,41
The world is still His own ;42
The realm of deathless truth43
Still breathes immortal youth ;44
Sure, though in shudd’ring dread,45
That all is finished,46
With purpose fixed and high47
The Friend of all mankind must die.48
O ! by those weary hours49
Of slowly ebbing powers,50
By those deep lessons heard51
In each expiring word ;52
By that unfailing love53
Lifting the soul above,54
When our last end is nigh,55
So teach us, Lord, with Thee to die !56