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O coward times, why do you keep your days?
O orbs of heaven, why do you run your course?
O seas, why do not floods your waves upraise,
And ne'er reflow again with moderate source?
O sun, why dost not quench thy beams hot force?
O, why do all things certain, settled, tarry,

Save men's short lives, who still unconstant vary?

Instance unpartial death, deaf sorrow's subject,
Pleasure's abater, fickle youth's despiser,
Headstrong in malice, inaffected object
To every sense, the subtile sly enticer
To guilded hopes, the heaven's will's revisor:

Instance his triumph, instance his sure dart,

Which misseth none, hits home still to the heart.

Now had the season entertain'd the spring,
And given a welcome to the days of mirth,

When sweet, harmonious birds began to sing,

With pleasant roundelays which graced the earth,
By long expectance of the blossom's birth;

When at the dawn of Flora's trimmed pride,
Ere she perfum'd the air, great DEVONSHIRE died.

He died, a sullied word, a word of ruth,

For ever be it stamp'd in misery;

Fearful unto the old, hated of youth,
Mark'd with the finger of calamity,

Blotted from light of day, night's heraldry:
He died; brief accents, but enduring wo,
The letters for whole dates of grief may go.

Torment of mischief, how thou grat'st my breast!
Mischief of torment, how thou rack'st my soul!
Unhappy cares how is your heart distrest!
Wretched unhappiness, which dost controul
The bliss of comfort, and alike enrol

Sad fortune in the dust; break life asunder:
Death is life's miracle, scorn's thankless wonder.

Wonder, O wonder of short breathed error,
A relic consecrated to defame,

A curb unto the wise, to fools a terror,
A terror of contempt, fear, hate, and shame,
A black oblivionizing of worth's name:

A raser out of memory, the merit

Of many noble peers and peerless spirit.

Who died? not he whose mongrel baser thought
Was steeped in the puddle of servility;
Not he who days of easy softness sought,
But threats of horror fitting his nobility,
To coronize high soar'd gentility:

Who died? a man:-nay, more; a perfect saint,
Leaving the world in tears of sad complaint.

Life? ah, no life, but soon extinguish'd tapers!
Tapers? no tapers, but a burnt out light!
Light? ah, no light, but exhalation's vapours!
Vapours? no vapours, but ill-blinded sight!
Sight? ah, no sight, but hell's eternal night!

A night? no night, but picture of an elf!
An elf? no elf, but very death itself!

Then life is death, and death the farthest goal
Of transitory frailty to conclude

The freedom of the while-imprison'd soul,

And stop the streams of heat, by death subdued.
To wan and chilly cold: fate's hand is rude,
None favouring the limit of an hour,

But doth all sort of states alike devour.

Devour thou them, and surfeit on the bait
Of thine insatiate rapine; exercise
The utmost of thy vengeance, nor delay it!
Let meagre gluttony yet tyrannise,

To use extremes! thy power we despise:

Kill whom thou dar'st, since DEVONSHIRE did depart,
We scorn the malice of thine envious dart.

Sleep still in rest, honour thy bones enshrine;
Victorious Lord! sweet peace attend thy grave,
Mount thy best part with angel's wings divine;
About the throne of Jove in quires to crave
By madrigals the joys that thou wouldst have:
So ever shall while dates of times remain,
The heavens thy soul, the earth thy fame contain.

If to be learned in the arts of skill,

If to be beautified with choice of nature,

If to be guiltless from the soil of ill

(Save soil of slander), if the perfect feature
Consist in being heaven's quaintest architecture,

Then ever shall while dates of times remain,
The heavens thy soul, the earth thy fame contain.

If to be fear'd and loved be human glory,
If to be 'dow'd with plenty of desert,

If to be chronicled in honour's story;

If youth, which grave discretion did convert,
Itself in commendation may insert:

Then ever shall while dates of times remain,
The heavens thy soul, the earth thy fame contain.

If wisdom stand in checking rasher folly,
If virtue do depend on perfect zeal,

He in the one was wise, in th' other holy;
If to regard the prosperous common weal,
Be shows of commendation to reveal:

Then ever shall while dates of times remain,
The heavens thy soul, the earth thy fame contain.

If to be virtuous, zealous, valiant, wise,
Learned, respective of his country's good,
Upright, in case of conscience precise,
Just, bounteous, pitiful, noble by blood,
Be to deserve the name of livelihood:

Then ever shall while dates of times remain,
The heavens thy soul, the earth thy fame contain.

For thou wast all of these, too high for earth,

Therefore more fit for heaven, where thou reignest;

The angels joy'd thy soul's delightful mirth,

And therefore fetch'd thee hence; whereby thou gainest The fruit of paradise, where thou remainest;

And ever shalt remain, from us bereaven:

Great as thou wast on earth, more great in heaven!

But, O give leave, ere I forbear my pen,
Thy worth in what I may t' exemplify,
And set thee as a president to men,
The due of thy desert to amplify,
And thy humanity to deify:

Of thy much merit to cast up the sum,
Thus be thy EPITAPH, and here thy TOMB.



THE Course of Time hath finish'd now his breath,
Whom brunt of war could never force to death;
Whose thirst of worth the world could not suffice,
Within a breadth of earth contented lies.

Betwixt the gods and men doubly divided,
His soul with them, his fame with us abided;
In this his life and death was countervail'd,
He justly liv'd beloved, he died bewail'd.

And so his happy memory
Shall last to all posterity.

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