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
On Sardanapalus’s dishonourable Life and miserable Death
 
TH’ Assyrian king, in peace, with foul desire
And filthy lusts that stain’d his regal heart;
In war, that should set princely hearts on fire,
Did yield vanquisht for want of martial art.
The dint of swords from kisses seemed strange;        5
And harder than his lady’s side, his targe: 1
From glutton feasts to soldier’s fare, a change;
His helmet, far above a garland’s charge:
Who scarce the name of manhood did retain,
Drenched in sloth and womanish delight.        10
Feeble of spirit, impatient of pain,
When he had lost his honour, and his right,
  (Proud time of wealth, in storms appalled with dread,)
  Murder’d himself, to shew some manful deed.
 
Note 1. Shield. [back]
 
 
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