Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE FAIREST THING IN MORTAL EYES, by CHARLES D'ORLEANS



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THE FAIREST THING IN MORTAL EYES, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: To make my lady's obsequies
Last Line: The fairest thing in mortal eyes.
Alternate Author Name(s): D'orleans, Duc; Orleans, Charles Of
Subject(s): Death; Marriage; Stillbirth; Dead, The; Weddings; Husbands; Wives; Death - Childbirth


To make my lady's obsequies
My love a minster wrought,
And, in the chantry, service there
Was sung by doleful thought;
The tapers were burning sighs,
That light and odor gave:
And sorrows, painted o'er with tears,
Enlumined her grave;
And round about, in quaintest guise,
Was carved: "Within this tomb there lies
The fairest thing in mortal eyes."
Above her lieth spread a tomb
Of gold and sapphires blue:
The gold doth show her blessedness,
The sapphires mark her true;
For blessedness and truth in her
Were livelily portrayed
When gracious God with both his hands
Her goodly substance made.
He framed her in such wondrous wise,
She was, to speak without disguise,
The fairest thing in mortal eyes.
No more, no more! my heart doth faint
When I the life recall
Of her who lived so free from taint,
So virtuous deemed by all, --
That in herself was so complete
I think that she was ta'en
By God to deck his paradise,
And with his saints to reign,
Whom while on earth each one did prize
The fairest thing in mortal eyes.
But naught our tears avail, or cries;
All soon or late in death shall sleep;
Nor living wight long time may keep
The fairest thing in mortal eyes.




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