THE SONG OF DEATH.
Title:The Song of Death
Publication:The Bolton Chronicle
Date:17th May 1862
This quite strange anonymous poem taken from Chambers Journal (Anonymous) employs the conceit of using Death as the speaker, who From the point of view of Death, who claims to be doing his victims favour by taking them to a better place. Interestingly the idea of paradise presented in this poem is fairly secular – there are palm trees and holidays rather than angels, and there are hints of humour in the tone. It is certainly far less sentimental than much of the other death-related poetry in this and other newspapers. Of course, with the rise in the general mortality rate during the Cotton Famine, there was a particular interest in, and poignancy to, the publication of poems on the subject of death, and the variations of approaches that exist in Victorian verse are thrown into further relief. – SR