to pestilent, loathesome, slow decay,
to be a food for worms, and mouldering
to poison earth and air and crystal spring?
Yielding to nature's law in a kindlier way
'Tis thine to cheat corruption of its prey,
And yet, true to thy dead and to they trust,
Be to the living and the coming just.
Rather with rosy glow and gracious heat
Is cremation's pious task complete.
Then, undefiled, will the dear passing frame
Be waft as on the golden wings of flame.
Each during part of unenduring clay,
Like the freed spirit, rise and float away,
Leaving, as nature hath indeed designed,
To earth a mere handful of earth refined
This will accord with nature, love, and sense,
This is wisdom's way, our duty, and hence
Of all man's methods since the world began
Doth best become the cultured state of man.
Then, prejudice away, none need to turn
From the pure clean ashes in the sacred urn -
The spirit-result of fire's refining art -
The lone chaste remnant of life's human part.
The Davenport Cremation Society