Verse > Anthologies > T. H. Ward, ed. > The English Poets > Vol. II. Ben Jonson to Dryden
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Thomas Humphry Ward, ed.  The English Poets.  1880–1918.
Vol. II. The Seventeenth Century: Ben Jonson to Dryden
 
On a Virtuous Young Gentlewoman That Died Suddenly
By William Cartwright (1611–1643)
 
WHEN the old flaming Prophet climb’d the sky,
Who, at one glimpse, did vanish, and not die,
He made more preface to a death than this:
So far from sick, she did not breathe amiss.
She, who to Heaven more heaven doth annex,        5
Whose lowest thought was above all our sex,
Accounted nothing death but t’ be repriev’d,
And died as free from sickness as she liv’d.
Others are dragg’d away, or must be driven,
She only saw her time and stepp’d to Heaven,        10
Where Seraphims view all her glories o’er
As one return’d, that had been there before.
For while she did this lower world adorn,
Her body seem’d rather assum’d than born:
So rarefied, advanc’d, so pure and whole,        15
That body might have been another’s soul;
And equally a miracle it were,
That she could die, or that she could live here.
 
 
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