Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE TOMB, by THOMAS STANLEY



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THE TOMB, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: When, cruel fair one, I am slain
Last Line: Since by thine eye slain, buried in thy breast.
Subject(s): Graves; Tombs; Tombstones


WHEN, cruel fair one, I am slain
By thy disdain,
And, as a trophy of thy scorn,
To some old tomb am borne,
Thy fetters must their power bequeath
To those of Death;
Nor can thy flame immortal burn,
Like monumental fires within an urn;
Thus freed from thy proud empire, I shall prove
There is more liberty in Death than Love.

And when forsaken Lovers come,
To see my tomb,
Take heed thou mix not with the crowd
And (as a Victor) proud
To view the spoils thy beauty made
Press near my shade,
Lest thy too cruel breath or name
Should fan my ashes back into a flame,
And thou, devour'd by this revengeful fire,
His sacrifice, who died as thine, expire.

[Or should my dust thy pity move
That could not love,
Thy sighs might wake me, and thy tears
Renew my life and years.
Or should thy proud insulting scorn
Laugh at my urn,
Kindly deceived by thy disdain,
I might be smil'd into new life again.
Then come not near, since both thy love and hate
Have equal power to love or animate.]

But if cold earth, or marble, must
Conceal my dust,
Whilst hid in some dark ruins, I
Dumb and forgotten lie,
The pride of all thy victory
Will sleep with me;
And they who should attest thy glory,
Will, or forget, or not believe this story.
Then to increase thy triumph, let me rest,
Since by thine eye slain, buried in thy breast.





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