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Word Count: 647
The first stanza of The Funeral establishes the setting of the poem Whoever comes to shroud me indicates that the speaker is making arrangements for what should happen to his body after his death He instructs the reader to be wary of a subtle wreath of hair that crowns his arm This alludes to a lock of hair that a woman has given him Later on in the poem he will refer to her as a saint but it is obvious even at this point in the poem that the speaker holds this woman in high regard Her hair is even important to him because it crowns his arm Indeed this lock of hair is like a saintly relic it must not be touched harmed or questioned and it contains a mystery The speaker also claims that his soul is bound to this mystery his soul is its viceroy The next lines explain the speakers motivation for being buried with a lock of this womans hair His soulless body will be protected from decay by this relic In fact his body belongs to the owner of the lock of hair He is her province and therefore it almost seems natural that this lock of hair would protect its property from harm and even decay resulting from death Donne tells us that in his death his body fails The sinewy thread is the nervous system that runs through his body and in his death the brain stops and this system fails However his soul is stronger As reflected in the symbol of the wreath on his body his soul grows upward and has given him strength and a certain kind of beauty as in art It has a better brain and will hold all the parts of his inner soul together thus enabling a certain power Unless except line 14 if his mistress she intended for him to feel his pain then she deliberately
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