We will all die, in fact, death is inevitable. The way one is affected by death varies which is why William Bell Scott’s poem, “Death”, and Sir Walter Scott’s poem, “Soldier, Rest!”, portray this particular issue of death in different ways. The divergent styles of writing used here are just like day and night as each poem is slightly in contrast of one another, yet the theme present in both of these poems is precisely the subject of death. In the first poem, “Death”, Bell Scott has a personified Death explain his virtues and why we should not live with the fear of him. Death then basically points out the fact that death itself is just an aspect of life by saying “All things are born for me.” One should not spend their entire existence trying to avoid Death as he is ought to reach us one way or another.
Those who worry and fear him, will then be consumed by their own fears and their lives will not be fulfilled at last and ultimately, Death will still catch up to us all regardless to whom and where we are. In the second poem, “Soldier, Rest!”, Walter Scott does not personified Death in fact, he describes death as a restful sleep where all of their materialistic stress drifts into complete nothingness. As you read the opening line, one can sense that the life of the soldier is being reflected here following orders and basically being treated like dirt.
However, the exclamation point can be seen as as a forceful order by death itself trying to convince him into giving in and end all types of suffering there and then. The forceful commands are not intended to be fierce in fact, it suggests that the soldier should feel welcomed instead and just relax. The overall theme of both of these poems is to embrace death and not be afraid of it as death will always be unavoidable.
Both poets want us to welcome death instead as it’ll only bring us a satisfying state of everlasting sleep at last. Fearing and attempting to avoid death is as if you were wasting the limited opportunity you were given. Perhaps, both of these poets wanted us readers to realize just how much time we have wasted thus far fearing death. Death should be viewed positively and not negatively. To conclude, we will all have to face death someday.
There is absolute no way we, as humans, can get away from death. William Bell Scott’s poem, “Death”, and Sir Walter Scott’s poem, “Soldier, Rest!”, manage to portray the issue of death throughout their writing. These poets have taken different perspectives on the issue while still being aware that death itself is inevitable.