A Celtic tombstone
The Irish actor and poet Thomas Moore, who lived from 1779 – 1852, wrote the following poem about the world being a brief deception. He thought only "Heaven" was true and bright and calm:
This World Is All A Fleeting Show
This world is all a fleeting show,
For man’s illusion given;
The smiles of joy, the tears of woe,
Deceitful shine, deceitful flow —
There’s nothing true but Heaven!
And false the light on glory’s plume,
As fading hues of even;
And Love and Hope, and Beauty’s bloom
Are blossoms gather’d for the tomb —
There’s nothing bright but Heaven!
Poor wand’rers of a stormy day!
From wave to wave we’re driven,
And fancy’s flash and reason’s ray
Serve but to light the troubled way —
There’s nothing calm but Heaven!
I think Mr. Moore’s poem was so pessimistic that "Anonymous" had to respond with a poem of his own, to portray the world as being less deceptive and having "something here of Heaven", as this entry in an 1846 book shows:
This world’s not "all a fleeting show,
For man’s illusion given"
He that hath sooth’d a widow’s wo,
Or wip’d an orphan’s tear, doth know
There’s something here of Heaven.
And he that walks life’s thorny way
With feelings calm and even,
Whose path is lit, from day to day,
By virtue’s bright and steady ray,
Hath something felt of Heaven,
He that the Christian’s course hath run,
And all his foes forgiven,
Who measures out life’s little span
In love to God, and love to man,
On earth hath tasted Heaven.
– The poetical works of Thomas Moore by Thomas Moore>>
– Thomas Moore, Wikipedia>>
– Practical Elocution by Samuel Niles Sweet>>
– The tombstone photo is a fake. It’s a prop made of styrofoam.