Epistle to Horace

About the time, or a little after, I die, the secret
will be found out of bow to live forever.
— FROM A LETTER OF HORACE WALPOLE
HORACE, be comforted to die.
One century has meandered by
And half the next since, it was true,
The temporal state eluded you.
Now as I read your pensive letter,
I wish myself that times were better
And I might boast how men contrive,
As you foretold, to stay alive.
By now we should possess the key
To fleshly immortality
And, if we wanted to, endeavor
To live forever and forever.
This, to my infinite regret,
Is not a custom with us yet.
I write you, Horace, for good cheer.
Life is about as usual here.