Upon the Funeral of my Dear Brother, Killed in these Unhappy Wars


Alas, who shall condole my funeral,2
Since none is near that doth my life concern?3
Or who shall drop a sacrificing tear,
If none but enemies my hearse shall bear?

For here’s no mourner to lament my fall,                                5
But all rejoicèd in my fate, though sad,4
And think my heavy ruin far too light,
So cruel is their malice, spleen, and spite!5

For men no pity nor compassion have,6
But all in savage wilderness do delight7                                10
To wash and bathe themselves in my pure8 blood,
As if they health received from that red flood.

Yet will the winds ring out my knell,9
And showering rain fall on my hearse,10
And birds as mourners sit thereon,11                                     15
And grass a covering grow upon.12

Rough stones, as scutcheons, shall adorn my tomb,13
And glow-worm burning tapers stand thereby;
Night sable covering shall me overspread;
Elegies of mandrakes’ groans shall write me dead.            20

Then let no spade nor pickaxe come near me,14
But let my bones in peace rest quietly,15
For who the dead dislodges from their grave16
Shall neither blessedness nor honor have.

  1. Upon the Funeral of my Dear Brother, Killed in these Unhappy Wars ] OF a Funerall. 1653
    Whitaker says of this poem that it tells “of a burial without mourners, the body borne by enemies amidst universal rejoicing—a story that could apply equally to Margaret’s brother or to King Charles I”; see Mad Madge, 146. However, the second and third editions specify that the poem is also about (or rather, is written from the perspective of) her brother.
  2. Alas, who shall condole my funeral,] Alas! Who shall my funeral Mourner be, 1664, 1668
  3. doth my life concern?] is Ally’d to me? 1664; is alli’d to me? 1668
  4. all rejoiced in my fate, though sad,] in my Fate, though Sad, Rejoyced all, 1664; in my Fate, though sad, rejoyced all, 1668
  5. spleen and spite!] and their spight. 1653
  6. have,] know, 1664, 1668
  7. But all in savage wilderness do delight,] But like feirce Beasts in Savage Wildness go, 1664; But, like fierce Beasts, in Savage Wildness go 1668
  8. pure] poor 1664, 1668
  9. ring out my knell,] my Dolefull Knell Ring out, 1664; my Doleful Knell ring out; 1668
  10. hearse,] Hearse about; 1664; Hearse about. 1668
  11. And birds as mourners sit thereon,] The Birds, as Mourners on my Tomb shall Sit, 1664; The Birds, as Mourners, on my Tomb shall sit, 1668
  12. a covering grow upon.] like as a Covering Grow on it. 1664; like as a Covering, grow on it. 1668
  13. Lines 17–20 in 1653 were removed, and do not exist, in 1664 and 1668.
  14. come near me,] dig me up, 1653
  15. in peace rest quietly,] lye quietly in peace. 1653
  16. For who the dead dislodges from their grave] He, who the Dead Dislodges from their Grave, 1664; He, who the Dead dislodges from their Grave, 1668