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Elegy:The End of Funeral Elegies

John Donne 1572 (London) – 1631 (London)



MADAM—
That I might make your cabinet my tomb,
And for my fame, which I love next my soul,
Next to my soul provide the happiest room,
Admit to that place this last funeral scroll.
Others by wills give legacies, but I
Dying, of you do beg a legacy.

My fortune and my will this custom break,
When we are senseless grown to make stones speak,
Though no stone tell thee what I was, yet thou
In my grave's inside seest what thou art now,
Yet thou 'rt not yet so good ; till death us lay
To ripe and mellow there, we're stubborn clay.
Parents make us earth, and souls dignify
Us to be glass ; here to grow gold we lie.
Whilst in our souls sin bred and pamper'd is,
Our souls become worm-eaten carcases.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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John Donne

John Donne was an English poet, satirist, lawyer and a cleric in the Church of England. more…

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