26 November 2015

Poetry Thursday - "My dearest dust" by Lady Katherine Dyer


My dearest dust, could not thy hasty day
Afford thy drowsy patience leave to stay
One hour longer: so that we might either
Sat up, or gone to bed together?
But since thy finished labour hath possessed
Thy weary limbs with early rest,
Enjoy it sweetly: and thy widow bride
Shall soon repose her by thy slumbering side.
Whose business, now, is only to prepare
My nightly dress, and call to prayer:
Mine eyes wax heavy and the day grows old.
The dew falls thick, my belov'd grows cold.
Draw, draw the closed curtains: and make room:
My dear, my dearest dust; I come, I come.

Opening "101 Sonnets" at random, I found this 1641 epitaph, and a mystery - did Lady Katherine write the poem, or did she commission it? The memorial on which it appears was erected 20 years after Sir William's death ... and she had to wait 33 years altogether before she joined him.

But this is not a sonnet in itself, the poem has an earlier section, which you can read here, as well as a bit of family history. Their seven children appear as adults on the tomb, which is at Colmworth in Bedfordshire.
Two of the suns are dressed as royalists, and two as roundheads (via)
The three daughters hold handkerchiefs - weeping about a family schism? (via)

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