MORAL JUDGEMENT

 

                                      Few people now believe that death

                                      Leads either to Hell or to Heaven,

                                      But there is a sense in which

                                      The manner of a person's dying

                                      Connotes with one or the other.

                                      For instance, a painful death, sustained as

                                      A result of injury or war, would suggest that

                                      The person concerned went to Hell,

                                      Whereas a painless death, attendant upon

                                      Natural circumstances, would suggest the contrary -

                                      Namely, that the person went to Heaven

                                      Or, at any rate, was saved.

                                      Think of the difference between the deaths

                                      Of Adolf Hitler and Aldous Huxley,

                                      And you get the impression that they died

                                      According to the way they had lived -

                                      The one through a bullet in the head,

                                      The other with a shot of LSD.

                                      So, although we have no reason to suppose

                                      That Hitler is now roasting in Hell

                                      Or Huxley freezing in Heaven,

                                      Their contrary manners of dying

                                      To some extent paralleled their respective lives,

                                      Confirming a kind of moral judgement.

                                      As a rule, 'the evil' die cruelly,

                                      Whereas 'the good' die peacefully.

                                      The former are damned, the latter saved -

                                      If only from a painful death.