To A Friend

Richard Hovey

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ALL too grotesque our thoughts are sometimes. Odd,
That there will come a day when you and I
Shall not be you and I! that we shall lie--
We two--i' the damp earth-mould--above each clod
A drunken headstone in the neglected sod--
Thereon the phrase, "Hic Jacet," carved awry,
And then our virtues, Bah! and piety--
Perhaps some cheeky reference to God!
And haply after many a century
Some spectacled old man shall drive the birds
A moment from their song i' the lonely spot
And make a copy of the quaint old words--
They will then be quaint and old--and all for what?
To fill a gap in a genealogy.

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