n. pl.1.The clothes or dress in which the dead are interred.
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Then the old woman, with an air of mystery which drew the circle closer round the fire, informed them that she had provided her graveclothes some years before,--a nice linen shroud, a cap with a muslin ruff, and everything of a finer sort than she had worn since her wedding day.
"Bound hand and foot with graveclothes; and his face was bound about with a napkin.
And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, "Lazarus, come forth." And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin.
Everything of importance in "Telemachus" gets its comeuppance and nothing more powerfully than the ghost of Stephen's mother, which has haunted his dreams: "She had come to him after her death, her wasted body within its loose brown graveclothes giving off an odour of wax and rosewood, her breath, that had bent upon him, mute, reproachful, a faint odour of wetted ashes" (5).
I WHEN I SEE YOU, I remember Lazarus emerging from the tomb in is graveclothes, bound hand and foot.
There, dark raftered pubs Are filled with white-clothed ones from tennis-clubs, And the boy puking his heart out in the Gents Just missed them, as the pensioner paid A halfpenny more for Granny Graveclothes' Tea To taste old age, and dying smokers sense Walking towards them through some dappled park As if on water that unfocused she No match lit up, nor drag ever brought near, Who now stands newly clear, Smiling, and recognising, and going dark.
after long on my knees in a cold chancel, a stone has rolled from my mind, and I have looked in and seen the old questions lie folded and in a place by themselves, like the piled graveclothes of love's risen body (CP 359) This, as this poem's title asserts, is "The Answer"--if there is an answer.
In a dream, silently, she had come to him, her wasted body within its loose graveclothes giving off an odour of wax and rosewood, her breath bent over him with mute secret words, a faint odour of wetted ashes.
Martin, she looked "more dead than alive" on her wedding day, recalling her "morbid and desolate" years on Wimpole Street with "the sort of horror with which one would look to one's graveclothes, if one had been clothed in them by mistake during a trance." "I was buried that was the whole," she wrote of her old life once she had escaped it.
Grimke writes that our business is to take away the stone which has covered up the dead body of our brother, to expose the putrid carcass, to show how that body has been bound in graveclothes of heathen ignorance, and his face with the napkin of prejudice, and having done all it was out duty to do, to stand by the negro's grave, in humble faith and holy hope, waiting to hear the life-giving command of "Lazarus, come forth." (51)
The community of the baptized, charged as they have been by the risen Christ who breathed on them and sent them out as he himself was sent to handle the world's sins, employ forgiveness as a key practice at stripping off their own graveclothes as well as those that bind the neophytes still learning to walk in Jesus' way.
This symbol suggests the empty graveclothes of the Lord Jesus on that first Easter morning.