Verse > Anthologies > Andrew Macphail, ed. > The Book of Sorrow
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Andrew Macphail, comp.  The Book of Sorrow.  1916.
 
XXIX. The Happy Dead
Threnos
By William Shakespeare (1564–1616)
 

BEAUTY, truth, and rarity,
Grace in all simplicity,
Here enclos’d in cinders lie.
 
Death is now the phœnix’ nest;
And the turtle’s loyal breast        5
To eternity doth rest,
 
Leaving no posterity:
’Twas not their infirmity,
It was married chastity.
 
Truth may seem, but cannot be;        10
Beauty brag, but ’tis not she;
Truth and beauty buried be.
 
To this urn let those repair
That are either true or fair;
For these dead birds sigh a prayer.        15
 
 
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