The Heritage

Cry out on Time that he may take away
Your cold philosophies that give no hint
Of spirit-quickened flesh; fall down and pray
That Death come never with a face of flint:
Death is our heritage; with Life we share
The sunlight that must own his darkening hour:
Within his very presence yet we dare
To gather gladness like a fading flower.

For even as this, our joy not long may live
Perfect; and most in change the heart can trace
The miracle of life and human things:
All we have held to destiny we give;
Dawn glimmers on the soul-forsaken face;
Not we, but others, hear the bird that sings.

–Siegfried Sassoon, The Old Huntsman and Other Poems, 1918