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LORD HERBERT OF CHERBURY

1583-1648

230                                        Elegy over a Tomb

MUST I then see, alas! eternal night
       Sitting upon those fairest eyes,
And closing all those beams, which once did rise
       So radiant and bright,
That light and heat in them to us did prove
         Knowledge and Love?
Oh, if you did delight no more to stay
       Upon this low and earthly stage,
But rather chose an endless heritage,
       Tell us at least, we pray,
Where all the beauties that those ashes owd
         Are now bestowd?
Doth the Sun now his light with yours renew?
       Have Waves the curling of your hair?
Did you restore unto the Sky and Air,
       The red, and white, and blue?
Have you vouchsafed to flowrs since your death
         That sweetest breath?
Had not Heavns Lights else in their houses slept,
       Or to some private life retird?
Must not the Sky and Air have else conspird?
       And in their Regions wept?
Must not each flower else the earth could breed
         Have been a weed?
But thus enrichd may we not yield some cause
     Why they themselves lament no more?
That must have changed the course they held before,
     And broke their proper Laws,
Had not your beauties givn this second birth
       To Heaven and Earth?

Tell usfor Oracles must still ascend,
     For those that crave them at your tomb
Tell us, where are those beauties now become,
     And what they now intend:
Tell us, alas, that cannot tell our grief,
        Or hope relief.

 

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