[detail of the Arundel Tomb in Chichester Cathedral]
"Side by side, their faces blurred,
The earl and countess lie in stone,
Their proper habits vaguely shown
As jointed armour, stiffened pleat,
And that faint hint of the absurd—
The little dogs under their feet.
Such plainess of the pre-baroque
Hardly involves the eye, until It meets his left hand gauntlet, still Clasped empty in the other; and One sees, with sharp tender shock, His hand withdrawn, holding her hand."
These are the first two stanzas of the poem by Philip Larkin which ends with the famous last line 'What will survive of us is love'. There's a framed copy of it hung up on a column next to the Arundel Tomb in the cathedral so you can read it standing pretty much where Larkin stood when he visited with Monica Jones.
I am fascinated by Larkin, his poems, his letters, his life in Hull, and in many ways he's the last person you'd expect to write this famous line (which is so often quoted out of context, and not as clear-cut as it seems). Still, it's in keeping with the complexity of his life and his poetry which both have a seemingly, outwardly simple form (unmarried provincial librarian writing short, easy to read poems) until you delve deeper. But both the sight and poetic image of the husband and wife holding hands for all eternity never fail to move.