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.
 
Funerall Elegies
XXI. Francis Quarles
 
ELEGY VII.
GOE, glorious saint! I knew ’twas not a shrine
Of flesh could lodge so pure a soule as thine;
I saw it labour (in a holy scorne
Of living dust and ashes) to be sworne
A heavenly quirister: it sigh’d and groan’d        5
To be dissolv’d from mortall, and enthron’d
Among his fellow-angels, there to sing
Perpetuall anthems to his heavenly King:
He was a stranger to his house of clay;
Scarce own’d it, but that necessary stay        10
Miscall’d it his; and onely zeale did make
Him love the building for the builder’s sake.
 
ELEGY XIII.
NO, no, he is not dead: the mouth of fame,
Honor’s shrill herald, would preserve his name,
And make it live in spight of death and dust,        15
Were there no other heaven, no other trust.
He is not dead: the sacred nine deny
The soule that merits fame should ever die:
He lives, and when the latest breath of fame
Shall want her trumpe, to glorify a name,        20
He shall survive, and these selfe-closed eyes
That now lie slumbering in the dust shall rise,
And, fill’d with endlesse glory, shall enjoy
The perfect vision of eternall joy.
 
ELEGY XX.
VNCONSTANT earth! why doe not mortals cease
        25
To build their hopes upon so short a lease?
Vncertaine lease, whose terme but once begun,
Tels never when it ends till it be done:
We dote upon thy smiles, not knowing why,
And whiles we but prepare to live, we die:        30
We spring like flowers for a daye’s delight,
At noone we flourish, and we fade at night.
We toyle for kingdomes, conquer crownes, and then
We that were gods but now, now lesse than men.
If wisdome, learning, knowledge, cannot dwell        35
Secure from change, vaine bubble earth, farewell!
 
 
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