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The Choirmaster's Burial Analysis

Author: poem of Thomas Hardy Type: poem Views: 15

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He often would ask us

That, when he died,

After playing so many

To their last rest,

If out of us any

Should here abide,

And it would not task us,

We would with our lutes

Play over him

By his grave-brim

The psalm he liked best—

The one whose sense suits

"Mount Ephraim"—

And perhaps we should seem

To him, in Death's dream,

Like the seraphim.

As soon as I knew

That his spirit was gone

I thought this his due,

And spoke thereupon.

"I think", said the vicar,

"A read service quicker

Than viols out-of-doors

In these frosts and hoars.

That old-fashioned way

Requires a fine day,

And it seems to me

It had better not be."

Hence, that afternoon,

Though never knew he

That his wish could not be,

To get through it faster

They buried the master

Without any tune.

But 'twas said that, when

At the dead of next night

The vicar looked out,

There struck on his ken

Thronged roundabout,

Where the frost was graying

The headstoned grass,

A band all in white

Like the saints in church-glass,

Singing and playing

The ancient stave

By the choirmaster's grave.

Such the tenor man told

When he had grown old.

Submitted by Guy


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