Billy Budd Chapter 25 & 26
Light begins to appear luminously in the morning and the bells ring at four in the morning. The men pour out for the morning watches and the officers assemble. Billy Budd's execution is to be performed on the main yard instead of the rear yard. Billy faces away from the assembly with his head in a noose. At the last moment he yells a blessing for Captain Vere and the men echo him. The Captain stands rigidly as the hull rolls into the waves. The men continue to repeat Billy's blessing, but the Captain is not moved. Billy is pulled up and appears outlined by the sun with the mast and the yard-arm making a cross behind him.
"At the same moment it chanced that the vapory fleece hanging low in the East was shot through with a soft glory as of the Lamb of God seen in mystical vision, and simultaneously therewith, watched by the wedged mass of upturned faces, Billy ascended; and, ascending, took the full rose of the dawn." Chapter 25, pg. 497
Days later, an observer of the hanging, Mr. Purser, asks the surgeon what he thinks about Billy lack of spasm after he was hung. The surgeon doesn't know what to say about it and Mr. Purser suggests that his heart stopped before he was actually hung. The surgeon admits that the hanging was phenomenal, because Billy's body did not spasm or seizure at all as it was raised up. Usually, there is a spasm of nerves breaking and choking. Billy's body was still. Mr. Purser thinks that Billy died of his own will, a sort of euthanasia.