On the Finding of a Skeleton


O Happy Man! Now art thou blest indeed;
On lists of fame thy name shall hence be scrolled.
I’ll warrant thou, when the earth did unfold
Its hidden store, felt on thy brow a bead
Of sweat, and thou didst start, they pay more heed;
As courage grew, examine the dark mould.
But if the story true were to be told,
How should we find thee? Firm, or like the reed
That trembles quick to every passing breeze?
The skull is soft; like oatmeal falls away,
And he looks young, as though his earthly day
Were cut off short. And now maybe he sees
Thee disentombing his long-peaceful clay
And laughs to think that thou wilt go his way!

Seventieth sonnet

1. 12. 29