A Lyke-wake Song

A poem by Algernon Charles Swinburne

Fair of face, full of pride,
Sit ye down by a dead man's side.
Ye sang songs a' the day:
Sit down at night in the red worm's way.
Proud ye were a' day long:
Ye'll be but lean at evensong.
Ye had gowd kells on your hair:
Nae man kens what ye were.
Ye set scorn by the silken stuff:
Now the grave is clean enough.
Ye set scorn by the rubis ring:
Now the worm is a saft sweet thing.
Fine gold and blithe fair face,
Ye are come to a grimly place.
Gold hair and glad grey een,
Nae man kens if ye have been.

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