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The death-dew had gathered on his brow

 
 
Reply Tue 23 Feb, 2016 01:10 pm
I came across the word "death-dew" in an autobiography from the mid-19th century. What does it mean? I haven't seen many dead bodies. Does a kind of perspiration form on the face of a corpse?

The full context is, "The light faded from his eyes, and the death-dew had gathered on his brow."

The author is describing the body of Willie Lincoln, Abraham Lincoln's son, on his death bead.

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Type: Question • Score: 3 • Views: 2,518 • Replies: 4
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Ragman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 23 Feb, 2016 05:09 pm
@lmallen88,
That is what I consider as poetic license. I have not ever seen it used. I can't tell you whether or not it was a term used in that era either. I tend to doubt it.
0 Replies
 
Ragman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 23 Feb, 2016 05:41 pm
@lmallen88,
When you Google the term, you'll find a few references. It's more common than I imagined:
https://www.wordnik.com/words/death-dew
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RayeRufty
 
  1  
Reply Sun 31 Oct, 2021 02:53 pm
It's wording used in an 1864 Christian hymn by William Ralph Featherston called "My Jesus I Love Thee":
"I'll love Thee in life, I will love Thee in death,
And praise Thee as long as Thou lendest me breath;
And say when the death dew lies cold on my brow,
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, 'tis now."
Leadfoot
 
  1  
Reply Sun 31 Oct, 2021 04:36 pm
@RayeRufty,
i hadnt heard it before, but i def get what he`s saying.
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