I live, but such a life as ever dies;
I die, but such a death as never ends;
My death to end my dying life denies,
And life my loving death no whit amends.
Thus still I die, yet still I do remain;
My living death by dying life is fed;
Grace more than nature keeps my heart alive,
Whose idle hopes and vain desires are dead.
Not where I breathe, but where I love, I live;
Not where I love, but where I am, I die;
The life I wish must future glory give,
The death I feel in present dangers lie.
Robert Southwell, ‘I Die Alive’, in The Poetical Works of the Rev. Robert Southwell (London: John Russell Smith, 1856), 68.
Geoffrey Bingham has written a great little book opening up the idea of love as true living. It can be purchased or downloaded from here.