Verse > Anthologies > Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. > The Oxford Book of English Verse
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Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. 1919. The Oxford Book of English Verse: 1250–1900.
  
John Webster. ?–1630?
  
219. The Shrouding of the Duchess of Malfi
  
HARK! Now everything is still, 
The screech-owl and the whistler shrill, 
Call upon our dame aloud, 
And bid her quickly don her shroud! 
 
Much you had of land and rent;         5
Your length in clay 's now competent: 
A long war disturb'd your mind; 
Here your perfect peace is sign'd. 
 
Of what is 't fools make such vain keeping? 
Sin their conception, their birth weeping,  10
Their life a general mist of error, 
Their death a hideous storm of terror. 
Strew your hair with powders sweet, 
Don clean linen, bathe your feet, 
 
And—the foul fiend more to check—  15
A crucifix let bless your neck: 
'Tis now full tide 'tween night and day; 
End your groan and come away. 
 
 
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