from The Temple (1633), George Herbert:


¶   Church-monuments.

	WHile that my soul repairs to her devotion,
	Here I intombe my flesh,1 that it betimes
	May take acquaintance of this heap of dust;
	To which the blast of deaths incessant motion,
	Fed with the exhalation of our crimes,
	Drives all at last. Therefore I gladly trust

	My bodie to this school, that it may learn
	To spell his elements, and finde his birth
	Written in dustie heraldrie and lines;
	Which dissolution sure doth best discern,
	Comparing dust with dust, and earth with earth.
	These laugh at Jeat and Marble put for signes,

	To sever the good fellowship of dust,
	And spoil the meetings. What shall point out them,
	When they shall bow, and kneel, and fall down flat
	To kisse those heaps, which now they have in trust?
	Deare flesh, while I do pray, learn here thy stemme
	And true descent; that when thou shalt grow fat,

	And wanton in thy cravings, thou mayst know,
	That flesh is but the glasse, which holds the dust
	That measures all our time; which also shall
	Be crumbled into dust. Mark here below
	How tame these ashes are, how free from lust,
	That thou mayst fit thy self against thy fall.

1  Teachers' note from Professor Armstrong: In churches of this time, the deceased may be buried under the stones on the floor, behind plaques on the wall (both true in Salisbury Cathedral) and in monuments inside the church (George Herbert’s parents at St. Nicholas Church, Montgomery, Wales).George Herbert himself was buried under the altar at St. Andrew’s, Bemerton, Wiltshire. [Return] {If anyone knows to the contrary about Herbert's resting place, please let me know;

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