Scripture Verse

O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? 1 Corinthians 15:55


Alexander Pope

Words: Alex­an­der Pope, 1712. The words are based on the death bed ut­ter­ance att­ribut­ed to Ro­man em­per­or Ha­dr­ian: Anim­u­la vag­u­la, blan­du­la, hos­pes com­e­sque cor­poris (Flit­ting lit­tle soul, sweet, friend and com­rade of the body).

Music: Pi­lot John E. Gould, 1871 (🔊 pdf nwc).

John E. Gould


Vital spark of heavenly flame,
Quit, O quit this mortal frame!
Trembling, hoping, lingering flying,
O 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 spirit, 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?