His Greatest Seal: Poems by the Rev. Francis Quintin-Arthur

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The Brain in Retrospect and Its Musings Philosophical on Death

Impromptu Death
Vita Mutatur sed non Tollitur
Who Did It?


If what’s to come must necessarily be
Why the trepidation of the end?
Immune to compromise
One particularly desires Death not,
So no great expectation then.
But since so it is that
That my might with Demise unmatched shall ever be
Considering how helpless he renders one
Then here I am ready
But submitting not into his hands
But those of He who conquered him
Eternity vanquishing time
And ecstasy unfathomable
So I submit not to Demise
For I dread him not—
He is held bound.
But with Him above as a guide
I walk though blind
In joy to eternal life
Bypassing Demise for endlessness.


Rest in peace!
Does it mean “to sleep”?
After all the bumps of life,
Uncertainties and tribulations?

Rest in peace?
No! Up and ready,
And hold hands to sing,
Meet friends and make up
And shout for joy!

How hard you worked for it
In a world intended to be joyful
But turned sour by a handful few,
Who to achieve their goals
Hold you down and stand on you.
You went through with genuine smiles
And you warmed the cooling earth.

So why rest in peace?
No, up and sing
And shout aloud.
He tried you well
And found you true,
So enjoy your lot.
But if that’s resting in peace,
Then rest in peace.

Impromptu Death

Why did you not warn me
That I was going to die?

Lord, I woke up with you in mind today
I prayed to you from my heart
And I even planned for the next day
Lord, you knew I was going to die
Why did you not warn me in time
Since you knew all that would occur?

I’d probably whine like this
When about to take my last breath
Yet, Lord, you warn me every day
In deaths of people both near and far
On TV, in papers and on the radio
Lord, my deafness—
Let me hear
Lord, my blindness—
Let me see
Lord, my pretense, procrastination!

Vita Mutatur sed non Tollitur

For they complain of injustice
That you robbed them of a loved one
Distraught they are
And question your fairness
For you are supposed to be good
And this seems not the handiwork
Of He who is the embodiment of good itself
But same thinking process stop to consider:
Who complains?
With what?
And you think enough to make a point!
“Cogito ergo sum”
So who endows you with that life
And the necessary brain you think with?
Would you rather not be to think?
Or be deprived of those who comfort you?
Would you go back to empty house?
Or has rain swallowed up your place of rest?
Be grateful, mortal man
All is not lost
For you have brain to pray
To thank the Creator of all
For the gifts you still have
So let go, honorably
For none can stand up to divine wisdom
And all that exists must cease to be—
To be with him for eternity
For life only goes through change—
It is not taken away!


Those gone before us, Lord—
Our main worry is this:
Are they in your presence
Where we hope they are?

Should we be fully assured
Beyond all reasonable doubt
That they do live with you
For endless years to come?

We would easier rest
And for this we always pray

How can we believe
So strongly in heaven
When it comes to our loved ones?

And those we deem wicked
Whom we may think deserve hell—
Why such strong belief?

But in other instances
As in fear of eternity
Because we fall short
We choose to doubt
That there’s life after death

Who Did It?

In deprivation of life,
Who deprives of life?
None, not even He who made all,
For He made all well,
And deprives none of anything.
As we by will
Deprive ourselves of good,
We look around to lay
The blame on someone else.
Thus deprivation of life.
We deprive ourselves of much.

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