Verse > John Donne > The Poems of John Donne
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John Donne (1572–1631).  The Poems of John Donne.  1896.
 
Epicedes and Obsequies upon the Death of Sundry Personages
Elegy
 
  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        5
    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 see what thou art now,        10
Yet thou ’rt not yet so good; till us death lay
To ripe and mellow there, 1 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,        15
Our souls become worm-eaten carcases.

THE END OF FUNERAL ELEGIES.
 
Note 1. l. 12. So 1669; 1635, mellow thee [back]
 
 
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