Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, AN ELEGY UPON THE L. BISHOP OF LONDON, JOHN KING, by HENRY KING (1592-1669)



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AN ELEGY UPON THE L. BISHOP OF LONDON, JOHN KING, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Sad relic of a blessed soul! Whose trust
Last Line: The resurrection for his epitaph.
Subject(s): King, John. Bishop Of London (d. 1621)


SAD relic of a blessed soul! whose trust
We sealed up in this religious dust:
O do not thy low exequies suspect,
As the cheap arguments of our neglect.
'Twas a commanded duty, that thy grave
As little pride as thou thyself should have.

Therefore thy covering is an humble stone,
And but a word for thy inscription.
When those that in the same earth neighbour thee,
Have each his chronicle and pedigree:
They have their waving pennons and their flags
(Of matches and alliance formal brags),
When thou (although from ancestors thou came,
Old as the Heptarchy, great as thy name,)
Sleep'st there inshrin'd in thy admired parts,
And hast no heraldry but thy deserts.
Yet let not them their prouder marbles boast,
For they rest with less honour, though more cost.

Go, search the world, and with your mattocks wound
The groaning bosom of the patient ground:
Dig from the hidden veins of her dark womb
All that is rare and precious for a tomb;
Yet when much treasure, and more time, is spent,
You must grant his the nobler monument,

Whose Faith stands o'er him for a hearse, and hath
The Resurrection for his epitaph.





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