On The Tombs In Westminster Abbey

MORTALITY, behold and fear!
What a change of flesh is here!
Think how many royal bones
Sleep within this heap of stones:
Here they lie had realms and lands,
Who now want strength to stir their hands:
Where from their pulpits seal'd with dust
They preach, 'In greatness is no trust.'
Here 's an acre sown indeed
With the richest, royall'st seed
That the earth did e'er suck in
Since the first man died for sin:
Here the bones of birth have cried--
'Though gods they were, as men they died.'
Here are sands, ignoble things,
Dropt from the ruin'd sides of kings;
Here 's a world of pomp and state,
Buried in dust, once dead by fate.

by Francis Beaumont

Comments (7)

'leveller' I'd call it.
Sure takes a long time to give such a simple message; however, it needs to be spelled out for the sixteenth and seventeenth century dweller. A fine example of period poetry.
Mortality. All is vanity
It's too bad PH puts out shorter versions of the original poems without letting the public know what they are doing. Although I personally like this shorter version better than the longer one, it's still a shame.
Morality! ! With the muse of the morals of mankind on earth. Nice work.
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