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The Funeral by John Donne


Whoever comes to shroud me, do not harm
  Nor question much
That subtle wreath of hair which crowns my arm;
The mystery, the sign, you must not touch,
  For ’tis my outward Soul,
Viceroy to that which then to heaven being gone
  Will leave this to control
And keep these limbs, her Provinces, from dissolution.

For if the sinewy thread my brain lets fall
  Through every part
Can tie those parts, and make me one of all,
These hairs, which upward grew, and strength and art
  Have from a better brain,
Can better do’t; except she meant that I
  By this should know my pain,
As prisoners then are manacled when they’re condemned to die.

Whate’er she meant by ‘t, bury it with me,
  For since I am
Love’s martyr, it might breed idolatry
If into others’ hands these relics came;
  As ’twas humility
To afford to it all that a Soul can do,
  So ’tis some bravery
That since you would save none of me, I bury some of you.