Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE FUNERAL, by JOHN DONNE



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THE FUNERAL, by         Recitation     Poet's Biography
First Line: Whoever comes to shroud me, do not harm
Last Line: That since you would save none of me, I bury some of you.
Variant Title(s): The Funerall
Subject(s): Death; Funerals; Love; Poetry & Poets; Dead, The; Burials


Whoever comes to shroud me, do not harm
Nor question much
That subtle wreath of hair, which crowns my arm;
The mystery, the sign you must not touch,
For 'tis my outward soul,
Viceroy to that, which then to heaven being gone,
Will leave this to control,
And keep these limbs, her provinces, from dissolution.

For if the sinewy thread my brain lets fall
Through every part,
Can tie those parts, and make me one of all;
These hairs which upward grew, and strength and art
Have from a better brain,
Can better do it; except she meant that I
By this should know my pain,
As prisoners then are manacled, when they are condemned to die.

Whate'er she meant by it, bury it with me,
For since I am
Love's martyr, it might breed idolatry,
If into others' hands these relics came;
As 'twas humility
To afford to it all that a soul can do,
So, 'tis some bravery,
That since you would save none of me, I bury some of you.




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