Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE OBSEQUIES, by HENRY VAUGHAN



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THE OBSEQUIES, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Since dying for me, thou didst crave no more
Last Line: Thy death may keep my soul alive.
Alternate Author Name(s): Silurist


Since dying for me, thou didst crave no more
Than common pay,
Some few true tears, and those shed for
My own ill way;
With a cheap, plain remembrance still
Of thy sad death,
Because forgetfulness would kill
Even life's own breath:
I were most foolish and unkind
In my own sense,
Should I not ever bear in mind,
If not thy mighty love, my own defence.
Therefore, those loose delights and lusts, which here
Men call good cheer,
I will close girt and tied
For mourning sack-cloth wear, all mortified.
Not but that mourners too, can have
Rich weeds and shrouds;
For some wore white ev'n in thy grave,
And joy, like light, shines oft in clouds:
But thou, who didst man's whole life earn,
Dost so invite and woo me still,
That to be merry I want skill,
And time to learn.
Besides, those kerchiefs sometimes shed
To make me brave,
I cannot find, but where thy head
Was once laid for me in thy grave.
Thy grave! To which my thoughts shall move
Like bees in storms unto their hive,
That from the murd'ring world's false love
Thy death may keep my soul alive.





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