The Hundred Best Poems (lyrical) in the English language - second series/On the Tombs in Westminster


On the Tombs in Westminster.

MORTALITY, behold, and fear!
What a change of flesh is here!

Think how many royal bones
Sleep within this heap of stone:
Here they lie had realms and lands,
Who now want strength to stir their hands;
Where from their pulpits, soil'd with dust,
They preach, "In greatness is no trust."
Here's an acre sown indeed
With the richest royal'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.

Dyce's Text.