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Some had consorts and servants killed
to go with them to the grave.
Others, less savage, settled for simulacra:
terracotta wives and concubines,
horses and a chariot for the journey.
Qin Shi Huang,
obsessed with security,
took a whole army.
The poor, more concerned
about day-to-day subsistence,
favoured pigs, chickens and loaves.

When I go
I want you to put in with me
my three-volume Dante,
Spanish Verb Inflections,
The Origins of Language,
The Chinese Potter,
Birds of Europe,
O'Brian on Picasso,
and The Song of Roland.

Perhaps, at last,
I'll have time to read the bloody things.