|Take him, earth, for cherishing, |
to thy tender breast receive him.
Body of a man I bring thee,
noble even in its ruin.
|Not though ancient time decaying |
wear away these bones to sand,
ashes that a man might measure
in the hollow of his hand:
|Once was this a spirit's dwelling, |
by the breath of God created.
High the heart that here was beating,
Christ the prince of all its living.
|Not though wandering winds and idle, |
drifting through the empty sky,
scatter dust was nerve and sinew,
is it given to man to die.
|Guard him well, the dead I give thee, |
not unmindful of his creature
shall he ask it: he who made it
symbol of his mystery.
|Once again the shining road |
leads to ample Paradise;
open are the woods again,
that the serpent lost for men
|Comes the hour God hath appointed |
to fulfil the hope of men,
then must thou, in very fashion,
what I give, return again.
|Take, O take him, mighty leader, |
take again thy servant's soul.
Grave his name, and pour the fragrant
balm upon the icy stone.