Monday, 10 August 2009

An Arundel Tomb

This 14th. century tomb to Richard Fitzalan, 2nd Earl of Arundel and his wife Eleanor is in Chichester Cathedral, moved there from Lewes Priory after the dissolution of the monastries. Their poses are unique. Her right leg is crossed over her left so that she is slightly turned to her "Lord", her right hand is lightly clasped in his ungauntletted left. Their feet rest on their pet dogs. It has been made famous by a wonderful poem by Philip Larkin. Here is the last verse:-

Time has transfigured them into
Untruth. The stone fidelity
They hardly meant has come to be
Their final blazon, and to prove
Our almost-instinct almost true:
What will survive of us is love.

from "The Whitsun Weddings"

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