Go, bury death in limousines: dispel
Inevitable death in transient mirth,
Acquire toys and earthly wealth from birth;
Pursue position, luxuries, and tell
Your mortal colleagues of your virtues; sell
Your future for the present; measure worth
In prominence, and seek the highest berth;
Send flowers, and do not think of death and hell.
Appalling folly, attitude perverse—
Before the one great certainly, to play
The ostrich and ignore hard facts, or worse,
Transform the corpse by euphemism’s play.
Still more: as surely as a mortal dies,
His certain death portends the great assize
There are no friends in hell: the residents
With zeal display self-love’s destructive art
In narcissistic rage. The better part,
The milk of human kindness, no defense
Against a graceless world, robbed of pretence,
Decays and burns away. To have a heart
Whose every beat demands that God depart –
This is both final curse and gross offense.
So not that metaphor’s inadequate
A fearful mask that hides a lake less grim;
Relentless, pain-streaked language seeks to cut
A swath to bleak despair, devoid of him.
This second death’s a wretched, endless thing.
Eternal winter with no hope of spring.
Taken from D.A. Carson, Holy Sonnets of the Twentieth Century, Baker, 1994.