1. "She was afraid. It wasn’t a tremble of fear. It was a dark hood hanging over her head. She was meant to die. That was why she was on the Chief speeding eastward. This was her bier."
- Dorothy B. Hughes, Dread Journey
2. "Following directly behind the bier were the servants who would, in earlier times, have been slaughtered at the graveside, along with a warrior's horse. Musicians and torchbearers came next, with the rear taken up by the mimes- sinister, silent figures in wax masks modelled on dead members of the family."
- Catharine Arnold, Necropolis: London and Its Dead
4. "Oh, ye’ve a temper,’ said Archie consideringly. ‘And ye had a rare old time losing it, and ye were like enough justified at that. But take a thought, too. Are ye to accuse Graham Malett in the law courts from the flat o’ a bier-claith, or on two sticks like a wife wi’ Arthretica? If ye’re tae walk upright like the fine, testy gentleman ye are, ye’ll need some nursing, I’d say. So I fear Guthrie and I had best bide."
- Dorothy Dunnett, The Disorderly Knights
5. "Are you not afraid of death?' I am not in the least afraid!... I would rather die than drink that bitter medicine.' At that moment the door of the room flew open, and four rabbits as black as ink entered carrying on their shoulders a little bier. What do you want with me?' cried Pinocchio, sitting up in bed in a great fright. We are come to take you,' said the biggest rabbit. To take me?... But I am not yet dead!...' No, not yet: but you have only a few minutes to live, as you have refused the medicine that would have cured you of the fever.' Oh, Fairy, Fairy!' the puppet then began to scream, 'give me the tumbler at once... be quick, for pity's sake, for I will not die--no... I will not die...."
- Carlo Collodi, Pinocchio
6. "Now dumb is he who waked the world to speak, And voiceless hangs the world beside his bier, Our words are sobs, our cry or praise a tear: We are the smitten mortal, we the weak. We see a spirit on earth's loftiest peak Shine, and wing hence the way he makes more clear: See a great Tree of Life that never sere Dropped leaf for aught that age or storms might wreak; Such ending is not death: such living shows What wide illumination brightness sheds From one big heart,—to conquer man's old foes: The coward, and the tyrant, and the force Of all those weedy monsters raising heads When Song is muck from springs of turbid source. —G EORGE M EREDITH."
- Robert Browning, Brownings Short Poems
7. "What images do I associate with the Christmas music as I see them set forth on the Christmas Tree?... An angel, speaking to a group of shepherds in a field; some travelers, with eyes uplifted, following a star; a baby in a manger; a child in a spacious temple, talking with grave men; a solemn figure, with a mild and beautiful face, raising a dead girl by the hand; again, near a city gate, calling back the son of a widow, on his bier, to life; a crowd of people looking through the opened roof of a chamber where he sits, and letting down a sick person on a bed, with ropes; the same, in a tempest, walking on the water to a ship; again, on a sea-shore, teaching a great multitude; again, with a child upon his knee, and other children round; again, restoring sight to the blind, speech to the dumb, hearing to the deaf, health to the sick, strength to the lame, knowledge to the ignorant; again, dying upon a cross, watched by armed soldiers, a thick darkness coming on, the earth beginning to"
- Charles Dickens, A Christmas Tree
8. "The sparkling smile became enormous. ‘Do you think she has a dagger there? Do you? Ask her, M. Francis? For,’ said the most noble and most powerful Princess Mary Stewart, Queen of Scotland, delving furiously under all the stiff red velvet, showing shift, hose and garters, shoes, knees and a long ribboned end of something recently torn loose, and emerging therefrom with a fist closed tight on an object short and hard and glittering, ‘for I have!’ And breathlessly, flinging back her head, with the little knife offered like a quill, ‘Try to stab me!’ she encouraged her visitor. There was a queer silence, during which the eyes of Oonagh O’Dwyer and her love of one night met and locked like magnet and iron. The child, waiting a moment, offered again, the ringing, joyful defiance still in her voice. ‘Try to stab me! … Go on, and I’ll kill you all dead!’ Her throat dry, Oonagh spoke. ‘Save your steel for those you trust. They are the ones who will carry your bier; the men who cannot hate"
- Dorothy Dunnett, Queens' Play
9. "Think continually how many physicians have died, after often knitting their foreheads over their patients; how many astrologers after prophesying other men's deaths, as though to die were a great matter; how many philosophers after endless debate on death or survival after death; how many paladins after slaying their thousands; how many tyrants after using their power over men's lives with monstrous arrogance, as if themselves immortal; how many entire cities have, if I may use the term, died, Helice, Pompeii, Herculaneum, and others innumerable. Run over, too, the many also you know of, one after another. One followed this man's funeral and then was himself laid on the bier; another followed him, and all in a little while. This is the whole matter: see always how ephemeral and cheap are the things of man- yesterday, a spot of albumen, tomorrow, ashes or a mummy. Therefore make your passage through this span of time in obedience to Nature and gladly lay down your life, as an olive"
- Marcus Aurelius, Meditations
10. "When The Lamp Is Shattered When the lamp is shattered, The light in the dust lies dead; When the cloud is scattered, The rainbow's glory is shed; When the lute is broken, Sweet tones are remembered not; When the lips have spoken, Loved accents are soon forgot. As music and splendor Survive not the lamp and the lute, The heart's echoes render No song when the spirit is mute:-- No song but sad dirges, Like the wind through a ruined cell, Or the mournful surges That ring the dead seaman's knell. When hearts have once mingled, Love first leaves the well-built nest; The weak one is singled To endure what it once possessed. O Love! who bewailest The frailty of all things here, Why choose you the frailest For your cradle, your home, and your bier? Its passions will rock thee, As the storms rock the ravens on high; Bright reason will mock thee, Like the sun from a wintry sky. From thy nest every rafter Will rot, and thine eagle home Leave thee naked to laughter, When leaves fall and cold"
- Quote by Percy Bysshe Shelley