Verse > Anthologies > Edward Farr, comp. > Jacobean Poetry
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Edward Farr, ed.  Select Poetry of the Reign of King James the First.  1847.
 
Verses on the Death of R. W.
XV. Anonymous
 
SUCH is the verse compos’d in mournefull teene,
Sadlie attyr’d in sorrowe’s liverie:
So sings poore Philomele, woods’ ravisht queene,
Progne’s mad furie, Itis’ tragedie,
Pandion’s death, and Tereus’ trecherye;        5
Such songs in Canens’ scalding tears were fram’d
When Tibur’s streames were last heard Picus nam’d.
 
And such be myne, most meet for funerall;
A sable outside fits a mourning heart,
And inward grief doth outward senses call        10
In sorrow’s quire to beare a weeping part.
Teares be my inke, sad ensigne of my smart;
My words be sighs, the caracters of woe,
Which all mishaped like themselves doe show.
 
First shall I mourne thy too, too suddeyn death,        15
Deare to my soule as to myselfe, which then,
Which then, alas! smothered thy feeble breath,
When life had newly tane possession.
In spring of years Death winter hastned on;
And enviouse of thy well-deserved prayse,        20
Made winter’s youth an end of winter’s dayes.
 
Like a fayre apple, which some ruder hand
Ungently plucks, before it ripened be;
Or tender rose, enclosed in verdant band,
New peeping forth from rugged rinde we see,        25
To garnish out his fruitfull nurserye;
Till nipt by northerne blast, it hangs the head,
All saplesse, livelesse, foule, and withered:
 
Such be thy lookes, pale Death’s usurped right,
Such be the roses that adorn’d thy face,        30
Such the bright lamps that gave thy bodie light,
Such the all-pleasing, simple, modest grace,
Which had theyr lodging in so sweet a place.
Ah! but thy better part far lovelyer is,
Copartner now of Heaven’s eternal blisse.        35
 
Thee why doe I with womanish lament,
Unseemlie teares, bewayle my losse in thee?
Stay but a while, and all my store is spent—
Affection needs must beare a part with me,
Since I must share my part with miserie.        40
Goe, blessed soule as ever cut the sky,
As e’er increased heaven’s melodie.
 
Joy in thy selfe as thy Redeemer’s merit!
And now I take my loving last farewell:
Rest to thy bones, blisse to thy gloriouse spirit.        45
Thy memorie within this heart shall dwell,
And therein shrin’d, nought shall thee thence expell.
Take, mother earth, into thy frozen wombe
This livelesse corse—thus earth to earth must come.
 
 
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