Crosse, Andrew – Poems – Sudden Illness
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Memorials, Scientific and Literary of Andrew Crosse, the Electrician – Cornelia and Andrew Crosse
Mr. Crosse was in general a singularly nervous person, and indeed, from the age of fifteen to the time of his death, he suffered more or less from nervous attacks, which were so distressing that sometimes for half an hour he would experience all the agonies, and worse than the agonies, of dissolution; for his powers had of course that vitality which makes all sensation trebly acute. He said, in one of his letters to a friend, "The ill health I suffered in my younger days made me imagine that I should never see thirty." One of these terrible attacks he thus describes in poetry, his most natural mode of expressing all strong feelings.
“So, Death, by my frail door thou fleetest,
And, as thou passest by,
With warning hand thou lightly beatest,
To hint that I must die!
-“And though thou say'st not at the portal
When thou shalt step inside,
‘T is kind to tell me I am mortal,
And check me in my pride!
“How many a tree my fathers planted,
I’ve lived to see decay!
How many a flower whose scent enchanted,
Is past for aye away!
“How many a string whose tones enthralled me
Is rudely rent in twain!
How many a voice which sweetly called me
I ne'er shall hear again!
“And while creation dies around me,
Shall I escape the tomb,
To herd with those whose sufferings wound me,
Yet flee the general doom?
“Have I not closed eyes which were lighted
With joy as I drew near?
Have I not seen those prospects blighted
On which the sun shone clear?
"Have not I felt, since Nature made me,
Far more than death can bring?
For should a thousand deaths invade me,
The past would blunt their sting!
"Say, does not all that floats about me
Scoff at life's vain pretence?
The worm I trample seems to flout me,
And bids me to go hence!
"The cloud above, the wave below me,
AII beckon me away!
Each sight I gaze on does but show me
That here I must not stay!
"Better to writhe in death's last anguish,
With hope of some relief,
Than in this weary world to languish
The sport of joy and grief!"