In Officio Exsequarium

Come, let us bid the last of our farewells
To one who sleeps on the retiring ship;
November’s breath respires the mournful knells;
“Lord, give him rest” is murmured lip to lip.

What is our life, if not a morning dew,
A flash of light upon the fleeting waves?
O where is youth that plays beneath the yew
Whose shade encompasses our future graves?

A peerless beauty now appears as grass,
And here a genius rests beneath a stone.
If every love from our embrace must pass,
Come, let our tears anoint the Christ, alone.

Fair Mother of the Sun that never sets,
Beseech our King to solve them of their debts.

 

Poet’s Note:
 
The traditional, solemn Commemoration of the Dead on November 2, also known as the Feast of All Souls, immediately follows that of All the Saints. Sonnet 30 from “Sonnets for Christ the King” is inspired by the many prayers, antiphons, hymns, sequences, less