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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
England: Vols. I–IV. 1876–79.


Westminster Abbey

By Francis Beaumont (1586–1616)

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 stones;

Here they lie, had realms and lands,

Who now want strength to stir their hands

Where from their pulpits; soiled 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,

Dropped from the ruined sides of kings.

Here ’s a world of pomp and state

Buried in dust, once dead by fate.