Lying in Stone.

Sun and shade, a pleasant dapple,1
Pave the stone-floor of the chapel,2
Where the knight of alabaster3
Sleeps, nor dreams of past disaster ;4
With his round ruff like a wheel,5
And his stone heart lapped in steel ;6
With a lady by his side,7
Centuries ago, a bride ;8
And their fourteen children pushing9
For more room upon the cushion.10
All above, the faded gold,11
From the heraldries unrolled,12
Peels and shrivels—dust, decay,13
Gnawing at it day by day.14
On the chancel’s rusty nail15
Rots the ragged suit of mail ;16
Where the tombstone’s edges jut,17
Helmet, like a broken nut,18
Hangs a mouldy trophy still,19
For the spider’s web to fill.20
In the changeless sunset light21
Of the window sleeps the knight ;22
Soldier, who once fought till death23
For his queen, Elizabeth24
Wars all over, let him rest25
In his doublet and his vest,26
After many a dire disaster,27
On his couch of alabaster.28