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Evil and brief hath been my pilgrimage.
All lapis, all, sons! Else I give the Pope 100
My villas! Will ye ever eat my heart?
Ever your eyes were as a lizard’s quick,
They glitter like your mother’s for my soul,
Or ye would heighten my impoverished frieze,
Piece out its starved design, and fill my vase 105
With grapes, and add a vizor and a Term,
And to the tripod ye would tie a lynx

That in his struggle throws the thyrsus down,
To comfort me on my entablature
Whereon I am to lie till I must ask 110
“Do I live, am I dead?” There, leave me, there!
For ye have stabbed me with ingratitude
To death—ye wish it—God, ye wish it! Stone—
Gritstone, a-crumble! Clammy squares which sweat

As if the corpse they keep were oozing through— 115
And no more lapis to delight the world!
Well, go! I bless ye. Fewer tapers there,
But in a row: and, going, turn your backs
—Ay, like departing altar-ministrants,
And leave me in my church, the church for peace, 120
That I may watch at leisure if he leers—
Old Gandolf, at me, from his onion-stone,
As still he envied me, so fair she was!

And now we enter into the Bishop’s final chaotic rant. His character is revealed in its weakness and fear. His life has been built around a desperate envy of a man who has died, and whom he can never now best. And yet, his whole desire is to best the dead, even in death.
He begins with an instance of the contradiction between his pious face as a Bishop, and the manipulative private self:
Evil and brief hath been my pilgrimage.
All lapis, all, sons! Else I give the Pope 100
My villas!

The first line is quote from Genesis. Joseph has risen to second in Egypt. He has rescued his family from the famine and is presenting his father to the Pharoah:

Genesis 47:7–9 (AV)
7 And Joseph brought in Jacob his father, and set him before Pharaoh: and Jacob blessed Pharaoh. 8 And Pharaoh said unto Jacob, How old art thou? 9 And Jacob said unto Pharaoh, The days of the years of my pilgrimage are an hundred and thirty years: few and evil have the days of the years of my life been, and have not attained unto the days of the years of the life of my fathers in the days of their pilgrimage.

The Bishop quotes the line as a pious sentiment, a sort of religious truism. His life is not really a parallel to Jacob’s life. Nor does he intend the allusion. Instead, the allusion creates a double irony. There is the surface irony: He uses the religious sentiment as a throw-away along the lines of the “vanity of vanities” quoted at the beginning. And yet, his life has actually been bitter to him: it has been marked with envy of one who is now dead. Also, he sees his life as too short and hence he seeks to extend his life into death, “Dying in state and by such slow degrees” (84).
There is irony at the level of the allusion: Jacob is speaking to the king, Jacob having been rescued from death by the life of his on whom he thought was dead. Jacob’s hope and rest have been in life, and in his son. The Bishop’s hope is in death. His fear is in his sons.
He now moves to a demand backed by a threat: Either you provide with a fabulous tomb all of lapis lazuli with even more pagan ornamentation, I leave your inheritance to the pope:
All lapis, all, sons! Else I give the Pope 100
My villas! Will ye ever eat my heart?
Ever your eyes were as a lizard’s quick,
They glitter like your mother’s for my soul,
Or ye would heighten my impoverished frieze,
Piece out its starved design, and fill my vase 105
With grapes, and add a vizor and a Term,
And to the tripod ye would tie a lynx
That in his struggle throws the thyrsus down,
To comfort me on my entablature
There is to be a scene from Greek m
ythology, the thyrsus was the favored weapon of Dionysus.
Some of the details: “Will ye ever eat my heart?” Why are you always killing me? But it is striking way to consider the issue. He so fears a second rate tomb that the thought of such a tomb is more fearsome than death itself.
And now we come upon another detail of their mother. There seems to be something less than affection in the relationship. Your eyes remind me of your mother’s, but also they are like “lizard” eyes in their movement. They ‘glitter’ but they “glitter” for his soul.:
Ever your eyes were as a lizard’s quick,
They glitter like your mother’s for my soul,
It is from this observation that he complains of his tomb, that it is impoverished and starved:
Or ye would heighten my impoverished frieze,
Piece out its starved design

It is from this that moves to his command to provide also a scene of battle. The previous scene was one of rampant sexuality. Perhaps the frieze gives us a glimpse into his relationship to their mother. It was profane, being outside marriage. In one place it is lascivious. In this instance, a combat to the death.

There are two more movements in the Bishop’s farewell. First we have his bizarre relationship to the tomb once more recounted, and his fear that sons will fail:

To comfort me on my entablature
Whereon I am to lie till I must ask 110
“Do I live, am I dead?” There, leave me, there!
For ye have stabbed me with ingratitude
To death—ye wish it—God, ye wish it! Stone—
Gritstone, a-crumble! Clammy squares which sweat
As if the corpse they keep were oozing through— 115
And no more lapis to delight the world!

The tomb will not be a comfort to the living, it will be a comfort to him. And beneath his tomb he will wonder if he is alive or dead:
To comfort me on my entablature
Whereon I am to lie till I must ask 110
“Do I live, am I dead?”

His inability to know he will be dead, his utter rejection of the possibility is strange, and also the hinge upon which his demands lie. I need this for my comfort. But the fact remains, he will not know.
And then his fear, coupled to anger at the injustice: Go ahead, let my corpse “ooze” out of the tomb made of cheap materials, sandstone (“gritstone”). They have no gratitude for their father. Which begs the question, what has he done for them? He has threatened them and made blasphemous offers.
Also, that last night is striking: the lapis will delight the world—when he is the one who wants it.
There, leave me, there!
For ye have stabbed me with ingratitude
To death—ye wish it—God, ye wish it! Stone—
Gritstone, a-crumble! Clammy squares which sweat
As if the corpse they keep were oozing through— 115
And no more lapis to delight the world!

And at last we have his departure. He makes his farewell, asks for candles (tapers), and then leaves us with the final irony. The church is a church for peace, but it is actually a place of rivalry, envy, and eternal struggle between Gandolf and the Bishop. Their mother is once more reduced to a conquest and acquisition, like a tomb:
Well, go! I bless ye. Fewer tapers there,
But in a row: and, going, turn your backs
—Ay, like departing altar-ministrants,
And leave me in my church, the church for peace, 120
That I may watch at leisure if he leers—
Old Gandolf, at me, from his onion-stone,
As still he envied me, so fair she was!

And the last repated irony: He cannot see Gandolf leer, nor will Gandolf ever see him.
This returns us to the opening line: This is all vanity, an appearance without substance. And yet that appearance drives him, even into the grave.