A DIRGE UPON THE DEATH OF THE RIGHT|
VALIANT LORD, BERNARD STUART.
by Robert Herrick
HENCE, hence, profane ! soft silence let us have
While we this trental sing about thy grave.
Had wolves or tigers seen but thee,
They would hve showed civility ;
And, in compassion of thy years,
Washed those thy purple wounds with tears.
But since thou'rt slain, and in thy fall
The drooping kingdom suffers all ;
Chor. This we will do, we'll daily come
And offer tears upon thy tomb :
And if that they will not suffice,
Thou shalt have souls for sacrifice.
Sleep in thy peace, while we with spice perfume thee,
And cedar wash thee, that no times consume thee.
Live, live thou dost, and shalt ; for why ?
Souls do not with they bodies die :
Ignoble offsprings, they may fall
Into the flames of funeral :
Whenas the chosen seed shall spring
Fresh, and for ever flourishing.
Chor. And times to come shall, weeping, read thy glory
Less in these marble stones than in thy story.
Trental, a dirge ; but see Note.
[Note: Properly a set of thirty masses for the
repose of a dead man's soul. Here and elsewhere
Herrick uses the word as an equivalent for dirge]
Cedar, oil of cedar.
Herrick, Robert. Works of Robert Herrick. vol I.
Alfred Pollard, ed.
London, Lawrence & Bullen, 1891. 109-110.
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