On the Death of a King

HERE lowered, sleeping, to his perpetual peace,
Is set a king. O discomfiting history,
Recognize in this mouth the shape of justice,
And in these closed eyes truth.
Death that can crawl through darkness will devour
The posture of this hand, that now rests in
All innocence upon the funeral shield,
Nor moves in last protest.
Time will unmask this ruin for what it is;
Revivify the traditional skeleton,
Such as supported Cæsar and Saint John
In running through the world.
This grass, this cenotaph, this shaded field,
Unnatural to our ardor in their quiet,
Stand guard upon his heart, and well will keep
Their lazy peace for him.
Let him remain in this position always,
Arranged to show his virtues, until age
Destroys the oaks, until the grasses wither,
And this tall stone is dust.