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LXVIII

DEATH

Death, thou wast once an uncouth hideous thing,

Nothing but bones,

The sad effect of sadder groans:

Thy mouth was open, but thou couldst not sing.

For we consider'd thee as at some six

Or ten years hence,

After the loss of life and sense;

Flesh being turn'd to dust, and bones to sticks.

We look'd on this side of thee, shooting short,

Where we did find

The shells of fledge-souls left behind;

Dry dust, which sheds no tears, but may extort.

But since our Saviour's death did put some blood

Into thy face,

Thou art grown fair and full of grace,

Much in request, much sought for, as a good.

For we do now behold thee gay and glad,

As at doomsday,

When souls shall wear their new array,

And all thy bones with beauty shall be clad.

Therefore we can go die as sleep, and trust

Half that we have

Unto an honest faithful grave,

Making our pillows either down, or dust.

51
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