Verse > Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey > Poetical Works
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Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey (1517–47).  The Poetical Works.  1880.
 
Songs and Sonnets
An Epitaph on Clere, Surrey’s faithful Friend and Follower
 
NORFOLK sprung thee, Lambeth holds thee dead;
Clere, of the Count of Cleremont, thou hight 1
Within the womb of Ormond’s race thou bred,
And saw’st thy cousin crowned in thy sight.
Shelton for love, Surrey for lord thou chase; 2        5
(Aye, me! whilst life did last that league was tender)
Tracing whose steps thou sawest Kelsal blaze,
Landrecy burnt, and batter’d Boulogne render.
At Montreuil gates, hopeless of all recure,
Thine Earl, half dead, gave in thy hand his will;        10
Which cause did thee this pining death procure,
Ere summers four times seven thou couldst fulfill.
  Ah! Clere! if love had booted, care, or cost,
  Heaven had not won, nor earth so timely lost.
 
Note 1. These lines were inscribed, with the epitaph above, on a table in Lambeth Church:—
  “Epitaphium Thomæ Clere, qui fato functus est 1545 auctore Henrico Howard, Comite Surrey. In cujus faelicis ingenii specimen, et singularis facundiae argumentum, appensa fait haec Tabula per W. Howard, filium Thomae nuper Ducis Norfolci ensis, filii ejusdem Henrici Comitis.”
  This epitaph occurs, with some trifling variations, in Camden’s Remains, Aubrey’s History of Surrey, v. 247, and in Bloomfield’s Norfolk. Thomas Clere was the youngest son of Sir Robert Clere, of Ormesby in Norfolk, (the descendant of Clere, of Cleremont in Normandy,) by Alice, daughter of Sir William Boleyn, by Margaret, daughter and coheir of Thomas Boteler, Earl of Ormond. He was consequently first “cousin” of Queen Anne Boleyn, whom “he saw crowned” in 1533, and was connected with “Ormond’s race.” “Shelton” is presumed to have been a daughter of Sir John Shelton, of Shelton in Norfolk, but it does not appear that Clere married her. He died on the 14th of April, 1545, and was buried at Lambeth. These facts explain most of the allusions in the epitaph, and the others are noticed in the Memoir of Surrey. [back]
Note 2. Didst choose. [back]
 
 
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