Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. III. Sorrow and Consolation
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Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume III. Sorrow and Consolation.  1904.
 
V. Death and Bereavement
On the Tombs in Westminster Abbey
Francis Beaumont (1584–1616)
 
MORTALITY, behold and fear
What a change of flesh is here!
Think how many royal bones
Sleep within these heaps of stones;
Here they lie, had realms and lands,        5
Who now want strength to stir their hands,
Where from their pulpits sealed with dust
They preach, “In greatness is no trust.”
Here ’s an acre sown indeed
With the richest royallest seed        10
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,        15
Dropt from the ruined sides of kings:
Here ’s a world of pomp and state
Buried in dust, once dead by fate.
 
 
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