Verse > Anthologies > J. C. Squire, ed. > A Book of Women’s Verse
J. C. Squire, ed.  A Book of Women’s Verse.  1921.
On the Sight of a Skull
By Mary Mollineux (c. 1648–1695)
BEHOLD, ambitious lump of clay refined,
Thy epilogue; see, see to what design’d!
So soon as thou wert born, so soon as air
Affords thee breath, thy vitals to repair,
So soon as thy small feeble embrion breast        5
Is of an active power, unknown, possess’d;
So soon thou may’st expect the dreadful day,
When thou once more must be reduc’d to clay,
And the whole fabrick of thy body must
Again be brought to its first nothing, dust:        10
Then shall those eyes, those crystal eyes of thine,
Which now like sparkling diamonds do shine,
Their little chambers circular forsake,
And them to essence more obscure betake;
The tender funnel of thy nose must thence        15
Corroded be, and lose its smelling Sense;
And all the volume of thy face will be
So chang’d, none may thereby remember thee.

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