Verse > Anthologies > Herbert J.C. Grierson, ed. > Metaphysical Lyrics & Poems of the 17th c.
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Herbert J.C. Grierson, ed. (1886–1960). Metaphysical Lyrics & Poems of the 17th C.  1921.
 
Lord Herbert of Cherbury
 
24. 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         5
      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,  10
Where all the beauties that those ashes ow'd 
      Are now bestow'd? 
  
Doth the Sun now his light with yours renew? 
      Have Waves the curling of your hair? 
Did you restore unto the Sky and Air,  15
      The red, and white, and blew? 
Have you vouchsafed to flowers since your death 
      That sweetest breath? 
  
Had not Heav'ns Lights else in their houses slept, 
      Or to some private life retir'd?  20
Must not the Sky and Air have else conspir'd, 
      And in their Regions wept? 
Must not each flower else the earth could breed 
      Have been a weed? 
  
But thus enrich'd may we not yield some cause  25
      Why they themselves lament no more? 
That must have changed the course they held before, 
      And broke their proper Laws, 
Had not your beauties giv'n this second birth 
      To Heaven and Earth?  30
  
Tell us, for 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,  35
      Or hope relief. 
 
 
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