Revelation of St. John by El Greco from The Temple (1633), by George Herbert:


¶   Dooms-day.

                                  COme away,
                  Make no delay.
Summon all the dust to rise,
Till it stirre, and rubbe the eyes;
While this member jogs the other,
Each one whispring, Live you brother?

                                  Come away,
                  Make this the day.
Dust, alas, no musick feels,
But thy trumpet: then it kneels,
As peculiar notes and strains
Cure Tarantulaes raging pains.

                                  Come away,
                  O make no stay!
Let the graves make their confession,
Lest at length they plead possession:
Fleshes stubbornnesse may have
Read that lesson to the grave.

                                  Come away,
                  Thy flock doth stray.
Some to windes their bodie lend,
And in them may drown a friend:
Some in noisome vapours grow
To a plague and publick wo.

                                  Come away,
                  Help our decay.
Man is out of order hurl’d,
Parcell’d out to all the world.
Lord, thy broken consort raise,
And the musick shall be praise.

Teacher’s note: The English Renaissance believed that, when the graves were opened at the Last Judgement of the world, the body/person had to have all its parts, even all the hairs from its body, to appear before Christ, the Judge. See John Donne’s "The Relique."

Note: Wednesday, September 22, 2004. On the news there was a suicide bombing in Jerusalem. A Jewish team retrieved all parts of the bodies to be properly buried.

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