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Whence each leaf of life hath date,
Where in sad particulars
The total sum of man appears;
And the short clause of mortal breath,
Bound in the period of Death:
In all the book, if anywhere
Such a term as this, Spare here,
Could have been found, 'twould have been read,
Writ in white letters o'er his head:
Or close unto his name annexed,
The fair gloss of a fairer text.
But he, alas! even he is dead,
All the tears that Grief can lend.
In his ashes all her pride;
With this inscription o'er his head :
This stone will tell thee, that beneath
Had their general meeting-place.
The splendour of his birth and blood
The flourish of his sober youth
Was the pride of naked truth.
Lived a fair, but manly grace;
His mouth was Rhetoric's best mould, His tongue the touchstone of her gold; What word soe'er his breath kept warm, Was no word now but a charm:
For all persuasive Graces thence
Him while fresh and fragrant Time
Ere Hebe's hand had overlaid
His smooth cheeks with a downy shade;
Swept him off into his grave.
Enough, now (if thou canst) pass on, For now (alas!) not in this stone (Passenger, whoe'er thou art)
Is he entomb'd, but in thy heart.
An Epitaph upon Doctor Brook.
A Brook, whose stream so great, so good, Was loved, was honour'd as a flood: Whose banks the Muses dwelt upon, More than their own Helicon ;
Here at length hath gladly found
The Muses with their tears supply.
An Epitaph upon Mr. Ashton, a Conformable Citizen.
The modest front of this small floor,
Believe me, Reader, can say more
Than many a braver marble can,
Here lies a truly honest man.
One whose conscience was a thing
That troubled neither Church nor King.
His prayers took their price and strength
He was a Protestant at home
He loved his Father; yet his zeal
Tore not off his Mother's veil.
To th' Church he did allow her dress,
Peace, which he loved in life, did lend
No surfeits were to reckon for.
Death tore not-therefore-but sans strife
What remains then but that thou
Write these lines, Reader, in thy brow,
So while these lines can but bequeath
His life still kept alive in thee.
To the Queen:
AN APOLOGY FOR THE LENGTH OF THE FOLLOWING
When you are mistress of the song,
Mighty queen, to think it long,
Were treason 'gainst that majesty