Death the harvester
Death the grim harvester is heedless of the seasons of life. Old age and sickness provide a rich harvest for it. As the frosty wind cuts off the buds that have not yet blossomed and flowered, so does death fall as a noiseless shadow upon sprouting human seedlings and blows its withering wind upon them. Its darkness closes on them and they freeze in its icy embrace and fade away in angelic childhood.
Like the farmer that mows down grass in the field, death swings its sickle and takes away vast numbers in the heyday of their summer. Still others it strikes mercilessly in the full vigor of their lives, before their life-work is finished and they have enjoyed the greatness they have built.
Thou hast ordained in thy wisdom, O Wise Lord, that men cannot die at their will. There are those that have well borne the burden of life and it is time for them to rest. Death to them is sweeter than life and in vain do they long for liberating death. They should have long since shaken the dust from off their feet and gone the way their fathers had gone. But still do they live and live to see the younger ones of their households snatched from them in the morning of their lives. In bed do they linger suffering excruciating agonies of pain. When the beatings of the wings of the tantalizing death are heard at last, death seems to be stalking with cruel slowness leisurely moving with feet of lead and leaves them long writhing in the convulsions of the fading life.
Help me, Ahura Mazda, to be strong in virtue, robust in righteousness, and undaunted in goodness that I may make light of death and frighten and fight it and go on strenuously working every day and every hour of my short life for furtherance of goodness in thy world. Grant in thy mercy, that when death may in the end triumph over me and cast its dismal shadow on my face and close my eyes forever to the world, I may peacefully resign myself in the arms of eternal sleep in supreme satisfaction of having played my part well during the short span of my life.
This page was last updated on Friday, February 11, 2005.