Verse > Anthologies > Andrew Macphail, ed. > The Book of Sorrow
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Andrew Macphail, comp.  The Book of Sorrow.  1916.
 
XXVI. Melancholy
On a vertuous young Gentlewoman who dyed suddenly
By William Cartwright (1611–1643)
 
WHEN the old flaming prophet climbed the sky,
Who, at one glimpse, did vanish and not dye,
He made more preface to a death than this.
So far from sick, she did not breath amiss:
She who to Heaven more Heaven doth annex,        5
Whose lowest thought was above all our sex,
Accounted nothing death but t’ be repriev’d,
And dyed as free from sickness as she liv’d.
Others are dragg’d away, or must be driven,
She only saw her time and stept to Heaven;        10
Where seraphims view all her glories o’er,
As one return’d that had been there before.
For while she did this lower world adorn,
Her body seem’d rather assum’d than born;
So rarified, advanced, so pure and whole,        15
That body might have been another’s soul;
And equally a miracle it were
That she could die, or that she could live here.
 
 
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