Verse > Anthologies > Hunt and Lee, eds. > The Book of the Sonnet
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Hunt and Lee, comps.  The Book of the Sonnet.  1867.
 
III. Epitaph on His Squire, Thomas Clere
By Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey (1517–1547)
 
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 crownéd in thy sight. 2
Shelton for love, Surrey for lord thou chase 3        5
(Ay me! whilst life did last, that league was tender);
Tracing whose steps thou sawest Kelsal blaze,
Landrecy burnt, and battered Boulogne render, 4
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 fulfil.
  Ah, Clere! if love had booted, care, or cost,
  Heaven had not won, nor earth so timely lost. 5
 
Note 1. wast called [back]
Note 2. Anne Boleyn. [back]
Note 3. didst choose. [back]
Note 4. surrender. [back]
Note 5. This sonnet is complete of its kind. There is not a sentence which does not contain information; not a word too much; no want of increased interest; all is strong, simple, and affecting.
  Clere died of a wound received while he was attending his lord, as here mentioned. His family was of Norman origin; and he was the son of Sir Robert Clere, of Ormsby in Norfolk, by a lady of the Boleyn family. [back]
 
 
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