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  1. Senior Member
    Interested in Language
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      • Native Language:
      • Czech
      • Home Country:
      • Czech Republic
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic

    • Join Date: Oct 2014
    • Posts: 836

    Strand of beauty and the worm that never dies


    I have difficulties understanding the bold text. Can anybody help me?

    'My brothers and sisters, the very instant our fleshly bodies are born they begin to perish; the moment the Lord has put them together, time begins to take them to pieces again. Now at this very instant if you listen close, you can hear the nibblings and frettings of the moth and rust within--the worm that never dies. It's the same with human causes and creeds and institutions--just the same. O, then, for that Strand of Beauty where all that is mortal shall be shed away and we shall appear in the likeness and verisimilitude of what in sober and awful truth we are!'

    All Hallows, W.D.LMare, 1927

    It would make sense to me if the bold text would be something like, "The day will come when all that is mortal ... ." But the Strand-of-Beauty thing puzzles me ...

    I also would like to ask if the worm that never dies in the text above means a real physical worm that consumes the dead body. I have come across the worm that never dies or the worm that dieth not in literature many times and found various hypothesis by scholars what it could mean so I am a little bit confused as to what De La Mare really meant by that.

    Thanks a lot.
    Not a Teacher

  2. bhaisahab's Avatar
    Retired English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Ireland

    • Join Date: Apr 2008
    • Posts: 26,076

    Re: Strand of beauty and the worm that never dies

    The worm that never dies is mortality.
    “Every miserable fool who has nothing at all of which he can be proud, adopts as a last resource pride in the nation to which he belongs; he is ready and happy to defend all its faults and follies tooth and nail, thus reimbursing himself for his own inferiority.”

    — Arthur Schopenhauer

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