EFFIGIES and MARKERS

Friday, July 1, 2011

Tomb effigies


King John's tomb effigy in Worcester Cathedral, England, with Christy in 2004
  Church Monuments
by George Herbert, minister and poet, 1593-1633

While that my soul repairs to her devotion,
Here I intomb my flesh, that it betimes
May take acquaintance of this heap of dust;
To which the blast of death's incessant motion,
Fed with the exhalation of our crimes,
Drives all at last. Therefore I gladly trust

Visceral tomb of Eleanor of Castile, Lincoln Cathedral
My body to this school, that it may learn
To spell his elements, and find his birth
Written in dusty heraldry and lines;
Which dissolution sure doth best discern,
Comparing dust with dust, and earth with earth.
These laugh at jet and marble put for signs, 



Euphemia de Clavering, 1269-1329, mother of Sir Ralph Neville II (1291-1367)
To sever the good fellowship of dust,
And spoil the meeting. What shall point out them,
When they shall bow, and kneel, and fall down flat
To kiss those heaps, which now they have in trust?
Dear flesh, while I do pray, learn here thy stem
And true descent, that when thou shalt grow fat 

Tomb chest of Yaroslav the Wise (978-1054), Prince of Novgorod and Kiev, in St. Sophia Cathedral at Kiev, Ukraine
And wanton in thy cravings, thou mayst know
That flesh is but the glass which holds the dust
That measures all our time; which also shall
Be crumbled into dust. Mark, here below

How tame these ashes are, how free from lust,
That thou mayst fit thyself against thy fall. 
Floor brass of John Foljambe, Lord of Tideswell and Wormhill, d. 4 August, 1358, Cathedral of St. John in the Peaks, Derby

Effigy of Richard "Strongbow" de Clare (1130-1176), Dublin, Ireland


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If you enjoy life sketches, anecdotes, and historical details like these, you can find them in the book Effigy Hunter, by Christy K Robinson. It's available in print from CreateSpace, Barnes and Noble, and Amazon

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