A Funeral

A Funeral

A procession of solemn folk in black

Walk through the gates under a gothic arch,

Lines of mourners, more so towards the back,

Prepare their hearts for a funeral march

To the strains of a marching band playing

A cheerless dirge and monotonic airs.

The notes flutter in the chill air, swaying

In a boisterous breeze through the cobbled squares.

The crowd follow the priest, two men burning

Incense mixed with water, three corpse bearers

Who carry the coffin before turning

Past a tearful salute of seafarers.

Of the deceased much do they remember

Up to the point when he died on his eighth

Journey. Other cloaked men follow, members

Of the mysterious Catholic faith,

Figures of mystic form, dressed in

Bright white regardless of the occasion.

Unblemished, not a single drop of sin

Has stained or bleached those robes of salvation.

On his gravestone is inscribed this passage:

Our time on earth is but a small buffer,

Before we’re called to the hallowed carriage.

Though I’m buried, it’s you who will suffer.

Life, then, prior to our exhumation,

Is an exam which only the pure pass,

Not judged by wealth, fame or adulation,

In fact, most fail just like fools in a farce.

We’re reminded of our bleak fate

Each time we glance upon a new coffin,

As thoughts turn to the rusty churchyard gate

And when it’s time for us to move on in.

No more to breathe, allowed to rest in peace,

While a new babe is born to take our place,

The plight of mortal life will never cease –

Except for the few who live by God’s Grace.

Why do human beings strive for a peak

If the grave is mankind’s ultimate goal?

They lack in self control, their will is weak,

They shall be burnt, scattered without a soul.

© 2017 AGP

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