If death is but the end of consciousness,
And there is nothing on the other side,
We have no reason to fear its caress
No matter when we cross the great divide.
If there is no punishment or reward
When we pass over into the unknown
Then piety is but a zealot's fraud
And life has no purpose except our own.
However hard or dutif'lly we've toiled,
However stained our hands with blood or sin
We won't sprout wings and play harps, or be boiled;
There is no price to pay, no prize to win.
But leaving this aside, there still is Hell,
Where there is torture, suffering and hurt,
It may be in a trench or prison cell,
It may be an unfair or just dessert.
For each man makes his own Hell now and here
And makes his brother's in both war and peace,
Yet oblivion holds more abject fear,
Than all the torment that will never cease.
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