Sunday, April 15, 2012

Sunday Poetry - Lady Catherine Dyer

This is a beautiful poem that was used as the epitaph on the tomb of Sir William Dyer at Colmworth, Bedfordshire in 1641. This isn't a portrait of the Dyers, I wasn't able to find one, but, as it's an unknown 17th century couple, & I think it's a lovely portrait, here it is. There are pictures of the full epitaph (this is only the second verse but it's the one most often reprinted) & the Dyer's tomb here and here. I don't know how long Lady Catherine had to wait to join her husband but, as they had seven children, and as the children are depicted as adults on the tomb, she may not have had very long to wait.

My dearest dust, could not thy hasty day
Afford thy drowsy patience leave to stay
One hour longer: so that we might either
Sat up, or gone to bed together?
But since thy finished labour hath possessed
Thy weary limbs with early rest,
Enjoy it sweetly: and thy widow bride
Shall soon repose her by thy slumbering side.
Whose business, now, is only to prepare
My nightly dress, and call to prayer:
Mine eyes wax heavy and the day grows old.
The dew falls thick, my belov'd grows cold.
Draw, draw the closed curtains: and make room:
My dear, my dearest dust; I come, I come.


  1. She waited 33 years - the memorial was erected 20 years after his death in 1621, and she died in 1654. There's a bit of family history at

    1. Thank you for the link. It's certainly a remarkable story & a beautiful epitaph.