NCERT Class 10 English Words and Expressions The Sermon at Banaras

1. In the lesson ‘The Sermon at Benaras’ you were asked to find out the meaning of ‘sermon’. The meanings are given below but these are in different contexts:
• A talk on a religious or moral subject
• A long or monotonous piece of admonition or caution or a warning, a lecture.
(a) Discuss with your classmates the context to which the present text belongs.
(b) What could be the examples for the different context according to you?
(c) When your parents or elders say something, you say,
“Oh, not again!” When do you say so and why?
2. Read the poem given below in the context of ‘The Sermon at Benaras’. It was actually delivered as a part of a sermon in 1910 by the author, Canon Henry Scott Holland (1847 — 1918), a priest at St. Paul’s Cathedral, London. After reading the poem, discuss in groups of four and list the similarities and differences between ‘The Sermon at Benaras’ and ‘Death Is Nothing At All’. For example the theme, the situation, the philosophy of the two speakers etc.
Death Is Nothing At All
Death is nothing at all.
It does not count.
I have only slipped away into the next room.
Nothing has happened.
Everything remains exactly as it was.
I am I, and you are you,
and the old life that we lived so fondly together is untouched, unchanged.
Whatever we were to each other, that we are still.
Call me by the old familiar name.
Speak of me in the easy way which you always used.
Put no difference into your tone.
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.
Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes that we enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.
Let my name be ever the household word that it always was.
Let it be spoken without an effort, without the ghost of a shadow upon it.
Life means all that it ever meant.
It is the same as it ever was.
There is absolute and unbroken continuity.
What is this death but a negligible accident?
Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?
I am but waiting for you, for an interval,
somewhere very near,
just round the corner.
All is well.
Nothing is hurt; nothing is lost.
One brief moment and all will be as it was before.
How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting when we meet again!
                                                                                                            Canon Henry Scott Holland

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