Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, ON THE FUNERAL OF CHARLES I; AT NIGHT, IN ST. GEORGE'S CHAPEL, WINDSOR, by WILLIAM LISLE BOWLES



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ON THE FUNERAL OF CHARLES I; AT NIGHT, IN ST. GEORGE'S CHAPEL, WINDSOR, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: The castle clock had tolled midnight
Last Line: We thought of him with tears.
Subject(s): Charles I, King Of England (1600-1649); Funerals; Burials


THE castle clock had toll'd midnight --
With mattock and with spade,
And silent, by the torches' light,
His corse in earth we laid.

The coffin bore his name, that those
Of other years might know,
When earth its secret should disclose,
Whose bones were laid below.

"Peace to the dead" no children sung,
Slow pacing up the nave;
No prayers were read, no knell was rung,
As deep we dug his grave.

We only heard the winter's wind,
In many a sullen gust,
As o'er the open grave inclined,
We murmur'd, "Dust to dust!"

A moonbeam, from the arches' height,
Stream'd, as we placed the stone;
The long aisles started into light,
And all the windows shone.

We thought we saw the banners then,
That shook along the walls,
While the sad shades of mailed men,
Were gazing from the stalls.

'Tis gone! again, on tombs defaced,
Sits darkness more profound,
And only, by the torch, we traced
Our shadows on the ground.

And now the chilly, freezing air,
Without, blew long and loud;
Upon our knees we breathed one prayer
Where he -- slept in his shroud.

We laid the broken marble floor --
No name, no trace appears --
And when we closed the sounding door
We thought of him with tears.





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