The Funeral

Original Text: 
John Donne, Poems, by J. D. With elegies on the authors death (M. F. for J. Marriot, 1633). MICF no. 556 ROBA. Facs. edn. Menston: Scolar Press, 1969. PR 2245 A2 1633A. STC 7045.
1Whoever comes to shroud me, do not harm
2      Nor question much
3That subtle wreath of hair, which crowns my arm;
4The mystery, the sign, you must not touch,
5      For 'tis my outward soul,
6Viceroy to that, which then to heaven being gone,
7      Will leave this to control
8And keep these limbs, her provinces, from dissolution.
10      Through every part
11Can tie those parts, and make me one of all,
12Those hairs which upward grew, and strength and art
13      Have from a better brain,
14Can better do'it; except she meant that I
15      By this should know my pain,
16As prisoners then are manacled, when they'are condemn'd to die.
17Whate'er she meant by'it, bury it with me,
18      For since I am
19Love's martyr, it might breed idolatry,
20If into other hands these relics came;
21      As 'twas humility
22To afford to it all that a soul can do,
24That since you would have none of me, I bury some of you.

Notes

9] the sinewy thread: the nervous system. Back to Line
23] bravery: a splendid gesture. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
1633
RPO poem Editors: 
N. J. Endicott
RPO Edition: 
3RP 1.173.
Rhyme: