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An Elegie vpon the much deplored Death, of the Right Honourable, Henry, Earle of Southampton, &c. Captaine of the Isle of Wight. And of the Right Honourable, Iames, Lord Wriothesley, his most hopefull Sonne, and worthy Image of his Vertues.
The Stampe in Honour.
'Twas neere a fortnight, that no sun did smile
Vpon this cloudy Orbe; and all that while
The Heau'ns wept by fits, as their pale feares
Presented to them matters for their teares:
And all the winds at once such gusts forth sent
Of deep-fetch't sighs, as filled where they went,
The shoares with wracks; as if they mean't the state
Of all the world, should suffer with that fate.
We of the lower sort, loath that our wings
By proudly soaring into Gods or Kings
Reserv'd designments, should be iustly sear'd,
Fearing to search, stay'd till the cause appear'd.
Yet simply thought that Nature had mistaken
Her courses, so, that all her ground were shaken,
And her whole frame disioynted; wherewithall
Wee look't eich houre the stagg'ring world should fall.
Til by a rumour from beyond-sea flying,
Wee found the cause: Sovthampton lay a dying.
O had we found it sooner, e're the thred
Of his desired life had quite beene shred!
Or that pure soule, of all good men belou'd
Had left her rich-built lodge to be remou'd,
Yet to a richer Mansion! We had then
Preuented this great losse. Our pray'rs amain
Had flow'n to Heau'n, and with impetu'ous strife,
And such vnited strength, su'ed for his life,
As should haue forc't th' allmighties free consent.
Not that we enuie, or shall e're repent
His flight to rest; but wishing he had stood,
Both for our owne, and for our countries good,
T'haue clos'd our eyes; (who onely now suruiue,
To waile his losse; and wish we so may thriue,
As we lament it truely.) That a race
Of men vnborne, that had not seene his face,
Nor know'n his vertues, might without a verse,
Or with lesse anguish, haue bedew'd his herse,
But he was gone ere any bruit did grow,
And so we wounded, ere we saw the blow.
Thou long tongu'd Fame that blabbest all thou know'st But send'st ill newes to fly, where ere thou goe'st,
Like dust in March, what mischiefe did thee guide,
This worst of ills, so long from vs to hide?
That, whilst we dream'd all well, and nothing thought,
But of his honourable battails fought,
And braue atchieuements, by his doing hand,
O're any newes could come to countermand
Our swelling hopes, the first report was spread,
Should stricke vs through, at once: Southamptons dead.
Had it com'n stealing on vs and by slow
Insensible degree's, ben taught to goe,
As his disease on him, 't had so prepar'd
Our hearts, against the wors that could be dar'd,
That, in the vpshott, our misgiuing feares
Would haue fore-stall'd, or quallified our teares.
But thus to wound vs! O distastrous luck!
Struck dead, before we knew that we were struck.
Whence 'tis; that we so long a loofe did hover,
Nor could our witts, and senses soone recover,
T'expresse our griefe, whilst others vainely stroue
In time t' outstripp vs, who could not in loue.
"Light cares will quickly speake; but great ones, craz'd
"With their misfortunes, stand a while amaz'd.
Even my selfe, who with the first assay'd
To lanch out into this deepe, was so dismay'd,
That sighs blew back my Barke, and sorrows tyde
Draue her against her course, and split her side
So desp'rately vppon a rocke of feares,
That downe she sunke, and perish't in my teares;
Nor durst I seeke to putt to Sea againe,
Till tyme had won on griefe, and scour'd the Maine.
Ev'n yet, me thinks, my numbers doe not flow,
As they were wont; I find them lame, and slow.
My buisie sighs breake off eich tender linke,
And eyes let fall more teares, than Pen doth inke.
O how I wish, I might not writt at all,
Not that I doe repine, or ever shall,
To make Sovthamptons high priz'd vertues glory.
The eternall subiect of my well-tun'd storie;
But loath to make his exequies and herse
The argument of my afflicted verse.
Me thinks, it never should be writt, nor read,
Nor ought I tell the world, Sovthampton's dead.
A man aboue all prayse: the richest soile
Of witt, or art, is but his lusters foile,
Fall's short of what he was, and seru's alone,
To set forth, as it can, so rich a stone,
Which in it selfe is richer; of more worth,
Than any witt, or art, can blazon forth.
In peace, in warr, in th' country, in the Court,
In favour in disgrace, earnest and sport,
In all assayes, the blanke of ev'rie Pen,
The Stampe In Honovr, and delight of men.
Should enuie be allow'ed rather than speake,
What she must needes of him, her heart would breake.
Religion, wisedome, valour, courtesse,
Temperance, Iustice, Affabilitie,
And what the Schoole of vertues ever taught,
And meere humanitie hath ever raught,
Were all in him; so couch't so dulie plac't,
And with such liberall endowments grac't,
In such a perfect mixture, and so free
From selfe-conceiptednesse, or levitie,
As if He onely were their proper Spheare,
And They but liu'd, to haue their motion there.
"Such greatnesse with such goodnes seldome stood;
"Seldome is found a man, so great, so good."
Nor doe I fall vpon his worth, so much
To blazon it, as to giue the world a tuch
Of what by his sadd fall, it selfe hath lost.
"Great benefitts are know'en, and valu'd most
By their great wants. We neuer knew to prize Southampton right, vntil Southampton dy'es.
Yet had he dy'd alone, some ease 't had beene,
His reall liuing Image to haue seene.
In his ripe Sonne, grow'n to the pitch of Man,
And who, in his short course, so swiftly ran,
That he outwent his Elders, and ere long
Was old in Vertue, though in yeeres but young;
"Put on his Gowne betime, and in his Downe
Put on his Armes, to beautifie his Gowne.
But ô, sad Fate! Prepost'rous Death would haue
Him too, because so ready for the graue.
The Father was his ayme; yet being loth
To leaue the Sonne, now seene, he would haue both,
And like a Marshall, or a Herald rather,
Surpriz'd the Sonne to vsher vp the Father.
O that I could suppose my selfe to bee
True Poet, rap't into an extasie!
And speaking out of a redundant braine,
Not what is simplie true, but what I faine,
That I might thinke the storie I impart
But some sad fiction of that coyning art!
How pleasing would th' adult'rate error bee?
How sweete th' imposture of my Poesie?
What euer true esteeme my life hath gain'd,
I would haue false, that this were also fain'd.
But Griefe will not soleaue the hould it had,
But still assures me, 'tis as true, as sad.
You bonds of Honour, by th' allmighties hand,
Seal'd, and deliuer'd, to this noble Land,
To saue her harme sse from her debt to fate;
How is't, that you so soone are out of date?
You promis'd more, at your departure hence,
Than to returne with your deere liues expence
Defac't, and cancell'd. You most glorious starres,
Great ornaments both of our Peace and Warres,
Than which, there moues not, in Great Britains spheare,
Sauing the Mouers selfe, and his Great heire,
A brighter couple; When you left our shore
In such great lustre, you assur'd vs more,
Than to returne extinct. O vaine reliefe !
To fill that state with ioy, your owne with griefe.
You were not with Dutch ioy receiued their,
As now, with sorrow, you are landed here
O' if the period of your liues were come,
Why stay'd you not to yeeld them vp at home?
Where, the good Lady, Wife, and Mother both,
For right-diuided love, and true-plight troth,
And all the graces, that that sex hath won,
Worthy of such a Husband, such a Sonne,
With deere imbracings might haue clipt your death,
And from your lips, haue suck't your yeelding breath,
And kneeling by your beds, haue stretch't your thighes,
And with her tender fingers clos'd your eyes.
Where manie Oliue branches, of ripe growth,
Might by their teares haue testifi'd how loath
They were to part, either from slip, or stock,
And many Noble friends, whose high minds mock
The frowns of stars, might with endeered spirits
Haue render'd you, the tribute of your merits.
Why rather went you to a strange dull clyme,
Rich only in such trophies of the time,
In such post hast, there to resigne them, where
The foggie aire is clog'd with fumes of beere,
Amongst a people, that profainely thinke,
They were borne but to liue, and liue to drinke,
A stupid people, whose indocil hearts
Could neuer learne to value your greate parts,
As much vnworthy of you, as vnable
To iudge of worth, the very scum and rable
Of baptiz'd reason? O why went you hying
To giue to them the honour of your dying?
Yet with this pointe of greife, some comfort striu'es :
They onely knew your deaths, but we your liues.
Or if you needes must to the state be sent,
Why did you not returne the same you went ?
The whole went hence: the better parts we lack;
And but the courser parts alone come back,
And scarcely parts; since in a state farre worse:
We sent Sovthampton, but receiue a corse.
Alas; what haue Great Henries merited,
That they by death should thus be summoned?
Henrie the great of France; and Henrie then
Of Wales the greater, Cynosure of men;
And now Sovthamptons Henrie, great in fame,
But greater farre in goodnes, than in name?
Had he but left his like, nor higher stil'd,
More blamelesse death had beene, my selfe more mild
But since their liues scarce one, to make a doubt,
Traduce me, Enuie, I must needes flye out.
Imprudent state of ours, that did not scan
Rightly, what 'twas to hazard such man,
To seue ten thousand Holands, or of him
For Europes selfe, to venture but a lim!
"The building is more subiect to decay,
"When such a piller is remou'd away."
But, ô I erre: Deere Countrey, I confesse,
Griefe, and distraction make me thus transgresse
All rules of Reason: Your designes are good.
O pardon me. And yet he might haue stood,
Pardon againe. Alas I doe not know
In this distraction, how my verses flow,
But whilst I am my selfe, if euer thought
But tempt my heart, or tongue but whisper, ought
'Gainst your dread hests, may my bold tongue with wonder.
Rot as it lyes, and hart-strings crack asunder.
But thou accursed Netherland, the stage
And common theater of bloud and rage,
On thee Ile vent my vncontrouled spleene,
And stabbe thee to the heart, with my sharpe teene.
Thou whose cold pastures cannot be made good,
But with continuall shour's of reeking blood;
Nor fields be brought to yeald increase agen,
But with the seeds of carcasses of men.
Whose state, much worse than vs'rers, onely thriues
By th' large expence and forfeitures of liues;
Yet bankcrupt-like, who daylie for thy store
Without regard of payment, borrow'st more.
Wherein in threescore years, more men of worth
Haue perish't, than th' whole countrey hath brought forth