Poem of the day

by George Herbert (1593-1633)

Death, thou wast once an uncouth hideous thing,
                  Nothing but bones,
         The sad effect of sadder groans:
Thy mouth was open, but thou couldst not sing.

For we considered thee as at some six
                  Or ten years hence,
         After the loss of life and sense,
Flesh being turned to dust, and bones to sticks.

We looked on this side of thee, shooting short;
                  Where we did find
         The shells of fledge souls left behind,
Dry dust, which sheds no tears, but may extort.

But since our Savior’s death did put some blood
                  Into thy face,
         Thou art grown fair and full of grace,
Much in request, much sought for as a good.

For we do now behold thee gay and glad,
                  As at Doomsday;
         When souls shall wear their new array,
And all thy bones with beauty shall be clad.

Therefore we can go die as sleep, and trust
                  Half that we have
         Unto an honest faithful grave;
Making our pillows either down, or dust.

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