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TO THE MEMORY OF MY EVER DESIRED FRIEND
To have liv'd eminent, in a degree
Beyond our lofty'st flights, that is, like thee, Or t' have had too much merit, is not safe; For such excesses find no epitaph.
At common graves we have poetic eyes,
Can melt themselves in easy elegies;
Each quill can drop its tributary verse,
And pin it, like the hatchments, to the hearse:
But at thine, poem or inscription
(Rich soul of wit and language) we have none.
Indeed a silence does that tomb befit,
Where is no herald left to blazon it.
Widow'd Invention justly doth forbear
To come abroad, knowing thou art not here,
Late her great patron; whose prerogative
Maintain'd and cloth'd her so, as none alive
Must now presume to keep her at thy rate,
Though he the Indies for her dowry estate.
Or else that awful fire, which once did burn
In thy clear brain, now fall'n into thy urn,
Lives there to fright rude empyrics from thence,
Which might profane thee by their ignorance.
Whoever writes of thee, and in a style
Unworthy such a theme, does but revile
Thy precious dust, and wake a learned spirit,
Which may revenge his rapes upon thy merit.
For all, a low-pitch'd fancy can devise,
Will prove at best but hallow'd injuries.
Thou, like the dying swan, didst lately sing'
Thy mournful dirge in audience of the king;
When pale looks and faint accents of thy breath
Presented so to life that piece of death,
That it was fear'd and prophesy'd by all,
Thou thither cam'st to preach thy funeral.
O! hadst thou in an elegiac knell
Rung out unto the world thine own farewell,
And in thy high victorious numbers beat
The solemn measure of thy griev'd retreat;
Thou might'st the poet's service now have miss'd,
As well as then thou didst prevent the priest;
And never to the world beholden be,
So much as for an epitaph for thee.
I do not like the office. Nor is 't fit
Thou, who didst lend our age such sums of wit,
Should'st not re-borrow from her bankrupt mine
That ore to bury thee, which once was thine:
1 His last sermon at court.
Rather still leave us in thy debt; and know
(Exalted soul) more glory 't is to owe
Unto thy hearse, what we can never pay,
Than with embased coin those rites defray.
Commit me then thee to thyself: nor blame Our drooping loves, which thus to thy own fame Leave thee executor: since, but thy own, No pen could do thee justice, nor base crown Thy vast desert: save that we nothing can Depute, to be thy ashes guardian.
So jewellers no art or metal trust
To form the diamond, but the diamond's dust.
IN OBITUM VENERABILIS VIRI
SACRE THEOLOGIE DOCTORIS, ECCLESIA CATHEDRALIS D. PAULI NUPER DECANI; ILLI HONORIS, TIBI (MULTUM MIHI COLEnde vir) obserVANTIÆ ERGO HÆC ECO.
CONQUERAR? ignavoque sequar tua funera planctu? Sed, lacrymæ, clausistis iter; nec muta querelas Lingua potest proferre pias: ignoscite, manes Defuncti, et tacito sinite indulgere dolori.
Sed scelus est tacuisse: cadant in mosta lituræ Verba. Tuis (docta umbra) tuis hæc accipe jussis Cœpta, nec officii contemnens pignora nostri Aversare tuâ non dignum laude poetam.
O si Pythagoræ non vanum dogma fuisset, Inque meum à vestro migraret pectore pectus Musa; repentinos tua nosceret urna furores. Sed frustra, heu! frustra hæc votis puerilibus opto: Tecum abiit, summoque sedens jam monte Thalia Ridet anhelantes, Parnassi et culmina vates Desperare jubet. Verùm hac nolente coactos Scribimus audaces numeros, et flebile carmen Scribimus ( soli qui te dilexit) habendum. Siccine perpetuus liventia lumina somnus Clausit? et immerito merguntur funere virtus Et pietas, et, quæ poterant fecisse beatum. Cætera? sed nec te poterant servare beatum. [tis
Quo mihi doctrinam? quorsum impallescere charNocturnis juvat, et totidem olfecisse lucernas ? Decolor et longos studiis deperdere soles,
Ut priùs, aggredior, longamque accessere famam. Omnia sed frustra: mihi dum cunctisque minatur Exitium crudele et inexorabile fatum.
Nam post te sperare nihil deget: hoc mihi restat, Ut moriar, tenues fugiatque obscurus in auras
Spiritus: O doctis saltem si cognitus umbris
Illic te (venerande) iterum (venerande) videbo;
Et dulces audire sonos, et verba diserti
Oris, et æternas dabitur mihi carpere voces:
Queis ferus infernæ tacuisset janitor aulæ
Auditis, Nilusque minùs strepuisset; Arion
Cederet, et, sylvas qui post se traxerat, Orpheus.
Eloquio sic ille viros, sic ille movere
Voceferos potuit; quis enim tam barbarus? aut tam
Facundis nimis infestus, non metus ut illo
Hortante, et blando victus sermone sileret?
Sic oculos, sic ille manus, sic ora ferebat; Singula sic decuêre senem, sic omnia. Vidi, Audivi, et stupui, quoties orator in Æde Paulinâ stetit, et mirâ gravitate levantes Corda oculosque viros teneit: dum Nestoris ille Fudit verba (omni quanto mage dulcia melle?) Nunc habet attonitos, pandit mysteria plebi Non concessa priùs, nondum intellecta : revolvunt Mirantes, tacitique arrectis auribus astant.
Mutatis mox ille modo formâque loquendi Tristia pertractat: fatumque et flebile mortis Tempus, et in cineres redeunt quòd corpora primos. Tune gemitum cunctos dare, tunc lugere videres ; Forsitan à lachrymis aliquis non temperat, atque Ex oculis largum stillat rorem: ætheris illo Sic pater audito voluit succumbere turbam, Affectusque ciere suos, et ponere notæ Vocis ad arbitrium; divinæ oracula mentis Dum narrat, rostrisque potens dominatur in altis. Quo feror? audaci et forsan pietate nocenti In nimiâ ignoscas vati, qui vatibus olim Egregium decus, et tanto excellentior unus, Omnibus inferior quanto est et pessimus, impar Laudibus hisce, tibi qui nunc facit ista, poeta. Et quo nos canimus? cur hæc tibi sacra? Poetæ, Desinite: en fati certus sibi voce canorâ Inferias præmisit olor, cum Carolus Albâ (Ultima volventem et cygnæâ voce loquentem) Nuper eum, turba et magnatum audiret in Aulâ.
Tunc rex, tunc proceres, clerus, tunc astitit illi Aula frequens. Solâ nunc in tellure recumbit, Vermibus esca, pio malint nisi parcere: quidni Incipiant et amare famem? Metuêre leones Sic olim; sacrosque artus violare prophetæ Bellua non ausa est, quanquam jejuna, sitimque Optaret nimis humano satiare cruore.
At non hæc de te sperabimus; omnia carpit Prædator vermis: nec talis contigit illi Præda diu; forsan metrico pede serpet abinde. Vescere, et exhausto satia te sanguine. Jam nos Adsumus; et post te cupiet quis vivere ? Post te Quis volet, aut poterit? nam post te vivere mors est.
Et tamen ingratas ignavi ducimus auras; Sustinet et tibi lingua vale, vale dicere: parce Non festinanti æternùm requiescere turbæ. Ipsa satis properat, quæ nescit parca morari, Nunc urgere colum, trahere atque occare videmus, Quin rursus (venerande) vale, vale: ordine nos te, Quo Deus et quo dura volet natura, sequemur.
Depositum interea, lapides, servate fideles.
Falices! illâ queis ædis parte locari,
Quâ jacet iste, datur. Forsan lapis inde loquetur,
Parturietque viro plenus testantia luctus
Verba; et carminibus, quæ Donni suggeret illi
Spiritus, insolitos testari voce calores
Incipiet: (non sic Pyrrhâ jactante calebat.) [est
Mole sub hac tegitur, quicquid mortale relictum
De tanto mortale viro. Qui præfuit ædi huic,
Formosi pecoris pastor formosior ipse.
Ite igitur, dignisque illum celebrate loquelis, Et quæ demuntur vitæ, date tempora famæ.
Indignus tantorum meritorum præco, virtutum tuarum cultor religiosissimus,
DEATH OF DR. DONNE.
I CANNOT blame those men, that knew thee well,
Yet dare not help the world to ring thy knell
In tuneful elegies; there 's not language known
Fit for thy mention, but 't was first thy own.
The epitaphs, thou writ'st, have so bereft
Our tongue of wit, there is no fancy left
Enough to weep thee; what henceforth we see
Of art and nature, must result from thee.
There may perchance some busy gathering friend
Which thou bestow'dst on others, to thy hearse;
Steal from thy own works, and that varied lend,
And so thou shalt live still in thine own verse:
He, that shall venture further, may commit
A pitied errour; show his zeal, not wit.
Fate hath done mankind wrong; virtue may aim
Reward of conscience, never oan of fame :
Since her great trumpet 's broke, could only give
Faith to the world, command it to believe.
He then must write, that would define thy parts,
"Here lies the best divinity, all the arts."
ON DR. DONNE,
BY DR. C. B. OF 0.
HE, that would write an epitaph for thee,
And do it well, must first begin to be
Such as thou wert; for none can truly know
Thy worth, thy life, but he that hath liv'd so:
He must have wit to spare and to hurl down,
Enough, to keep the gallants of the town.
He must have learning plenty; both the laws,
Civil aud common, to judge any cause;
Divinity great store above the rest;
Not of the last edition, but the best.
He must have language, travail, all the arts;
Judgment to use; or else he wants thy parts.
He must have friends the highest, able to do;
Such as Mæcenas, and Augustus too:
He must have such a sickness, such a death,
Or else his vain descriptions come beneath.
Who then shall write an epitaph for thee,
He must be dead first; let it alone for me.
THE INCOMPARABLE DR. DONNE.
ALL is not well, when such a one as I
Dare peep abroad, and write an elegy;
When smaller stars appear, and give their light,
Phebus is gone to bed: were it not night,
And the world witless now that Donne is dead,
You sooner should have broke than seen my head.
Dead, did I say? forgive this injury
I do him, and his worth's infinity,
To say he is but dead; I dare aver,
It better may be term'd a massacre,
Than sleep or death. See how the Muses mourn
Upon their oaten reeds, and from his urn
Threaten the world with this calamity,
They shall have ballads, but no poetry.
Language lies speechless; and Divinity
Lost such a trump, as ev'n to ecstasy
Could charm the soul, and had an influence
To teach best judgments, and please dullest sense.
The court, the church, the university,
Lost chaplain, dean, and doctor, all these three.
It was his merit, that his funeral
Could cause a loss so great and general.
If there be any spirit can answer give
Of such as hence depart to such as live;
Speak, doth his body there vermiculate,
Crumble to dust, and feel the laws of fate?
Methinks corruption, worms, what else is foul,
Should spare the temple of so fair a soul.
I could believe they do, but that I know,
What inconvenience might hereafter grow?
Succeeding ages would idolatrize,
And as his numbers, so his relics prize.
If that philosopher, which did avow The world to be but motes, were living now, He would affirm that th' atoms of his mould, Were they in several bodies blended, would Produce new worlds of travellers, divines, Of linguists, poets; sith these several lines In him concentred were, and flowing thence Might fill again the world's circumference. I could believe this too; and yet my faith Not want a precedent: the phenix hath (And such was she) a power to animate Her ashes, and herself pepetuate. But, busy soul, thou dost not well to pry Into these secrets; grief and jealousy, The more they know, the further still advance: And find no way so safe as ignorance. Let this suffice thee, that his soul which flew A pitch, of all admir'd, know but of few, (Save those of purer mould) is now translated From Earth to Heaven, and there constellated. For if each priest of God shine as a star, His glory 's as his gifts, 'bove others far.
ELEGY UPON DR. DONNE.
OUR Donne is dead; England should mourn, may
say We had a man, where language chose to stay, And show a graceful pow'r. I would not praise That and his vast wit (which in these vain days Make many proud) but as they serv'd t' unlock That cabinet, his mind; where such a stock
(Or should) this general cause of discontent.
Of knowledge was repos'd, as all lament
And I rejoice I am not so severe,
But (as I write a line) to weep a tear
For his decease; such sad extremities
May make such men as I write elegies.
And wonder not; for when a general loss
Falls on a nation, and they slight the cross,
God hath rais'd prophets to awaken them
From stupefaction; witness my mild pen,
Not us'd t' upbraid the world; though now it must
Freely and boldly, for the cause is just.
Dull age! oh, I would spare thee, but th' art Thou art not only dull, but hast a curse [worse, Of black ingratitude; if not, could'st thou Part with miraculous Donne, and make no vow, For thee and thine successively to pay A sad remembrance to his dying day?
Did his youth scatter poetry, wherein Was all philosophy? was every sin, Character'd in his Satires, made so foul
That some have fear'd their shapes, and kept their
Safer by reading verse? did he give days
Past marble monuments to those, whose praise
He would perpetuate? Did he (I fear
The dull will doubt) these at his twentieth year?
But, more matur'd, did his full soul conceive,
And in harmonious holy numbers weave
A Crown of sacred Sonnets', fit to adorn
A dying martyr's brow; or to be worn
On that bless'd head of Mary Magdalen,
After she wip'd Christ's feet, but not till then?
Did he (fit for such penitents as she
And he to use) leave us a Litany,
Which all devout men love? and sure it shall,
As times grow better, grow more classical.
Did he write hymns, for piety, for wit,
Equal to those, great grave Prudentius writ?
Spake he all languages? knew he all laws?
The grounds and use of physic? (but because
'T was mercenary, wav'd it) went to see
The blessed place of Christ's nativity?
Did he return and preach him? preach him so,
As since St. Paul none did, none could? Those know
(Such as were bless'd to hear him) this is truth.
Did he confirm th' aged? convert the youth?
Did he these wonders? And is this dear loss
Mourn'd by so few? (few, for so great a cross.)
But sure the silent are ambitious all
To be close mourners at his funeral:
If not, in common pity they forbear
By repetitions to renew our care;
Or knowing, grief conceiv'd, conceal'd, consumes
Man irreparably, (as poison'd fumes
Do waste the brain) make silence a safe way
T' enlarge the soul from those walls, mud and clay, (Materials of this body) to remain
With Donne in Heav'n; where no promiscuous pain
Lessens the joy we have: for with him all
Are satisfy'd with joys essential.
Dwell on this joy, my thoughts; oh! do not call
Grief back, by thinking of his funeral.
(Which haste to David's seventy) fill'd with fears
Forget he lov'd me; waste not my sad years,
And sorrow for his death; forget his parts,
Which find a living grave in good men's hearts.
And (for my first is daily paid for sin)
Forget to pay my second sigh for him:
Forget his powerful preaching; and forget
I am his convert. Oh, my frailty! let
My flesh be no more heard; it will obtrude
This lethargy: so should my gratitude,
My flows of gratitude should so be broke:
Which can no more be, than Donne's virtues spoke
By any but himself; for which cause i
Write no encomium, but this elegy;
Which, as a free-will off ring, I here give
Fame and the world, and parting with it grieve,
I want abilities fit to set forth
A monument, great as Donne's matchless worth.
ELEGY ON DR. DONNE.
Now, by one year, time and our frailty have
Lessen'd our first confusion, since the grave
Clos'd thy dear ashes, and the tears, which flow,
In these have no springs, but of solid woe:
Or they are drops, which cold amazement froze
At thy decease, and will not thaw in prose.
All streams of verse, which shall lament that day,
Do truly to the ocean tribute pay;
But they have lost their saltness, which the eye,
In recompense of wit, strives to reply.
Passion's excess for thee we need not fear,
Since first by thee our passions hallow'd were;
Thou mad'st our sorrows, which before had been,
Only for the success, sorrows for sin;
We owe thee all those tears, now thou art dead,
Which we shed not, which for ourselves we shed.
Nor didst thou only consecrate our tears,
Give a religious tincture to our fears;
But ev❜n our joys had learn'd an innocence,
Thou didst from gladness separate offence.
All minds at once suck'd grace from thee, as where
(The curse revok'd) the nations had one ear.
Pious dissector, they one hour did treat
The thousand mazes of the heart's deceit;
Thou didst pursue our lov'd and subtle sin,
Through all the foldings we have wrapp'd it in;
And in thine own large mind finding the way,
By which ourselves we from ourselves convey,
Didst in us, narrow models, know the same
Angels, though darker, in our meaner frame.
How short of praise is this? My Muse, alas!
Climbs weakly to that truth which none can pass.
He that writes best, can only hope to leave
A character of all he could conceive,
But none of thee; and with me must confess,
That fancy finds some check, from an excess
Of merit most, of nothing, it hath spun;
And truth, as reason's task and theme, doth shun.
She makes a fairer flight in emptiness,
Than when a body'd truth do her oppress.
Reason again denies her scales, because
Hers are but scales, she judges by the laws
Of weak comparison; thy virtue slights
Her feeble beam, and her unequal weights.
What prodigy of wit and piety
Hath she else known, by which to measure thee?
Great soul! we can no more the worthiness
Of what you were, than what you are, express.
DR. JOHN DONNE,
LATE DEAN OF ST. PAUL'S, LONDON.
LONG since this task of tears from you was due,
Long since, O poets, he did die to you;
Or left you dead, when wit and he took flight
Ou divine wings, and soar'd out of your sight.
Preachers, 't is you must weep; the wit he taught,
You do enjoy; the rebels, which he brought
From ancient discord, giant faculties,
And now no more religion's enemies;
Honest to knowing, unto virtuous sweet,
Witty to good, and learned to discreet
He reconcil'd, and bid th' usurper go;
Dulness to vice, religion ought to flow.
He kept his loves, but not his objects; wit
He did not banish, but transplanted it;
Taught it his place and use, and brought it home
To piety, which it doth best become.
He show'd us how for sins we ought to sigh,
And how to sing Christ's epithalamy.
The altars had his fires, and there he spoke
Incense of loves, and fancy's holy smoke.
Religion thus enrich'd, the people train'd,
And God from dull vice had the fashion gain'd.
The first effects sprung in the giddy mind
Of flashy youth, and thirst of woman-kind,
By colours lead, and drawn to a pursuit
Now once again by beauty of the fruit;
As if their longings too must set us free,
And tempt us now to the commanded tree.
Tell me, had ever pleasure such a dress?
Have you known crimes so shap'd? or loveliness,
Such as his lips did clothe religion in?
Had not reproof a beauty passing sin?
Corrupted nature sorrow'd, when she stood
So near the danger of becoming good;
And wish'd our so inconstant ears exempt
From piety, that had such pow'r to tempt.
Did not his sacred flattery beguile
Man to amendment? The law taught to smile,
Pension'd our vanity; and man grew well
Through the same frailty, by the which he fell.
O the sick state of man! health doth not please
Our tastes, but in the shape of the disease.
Thriftless is charity, coward patience,
Justice is cruel, mercy want of sense.
What means our nature to bar virtue place,
If she do come in her own clothes and face?
Is good a pill, we dare not chaw to know?
Sense, the soul's servant, doth it keep us so,
As we might starve for good, unless it first
Do leave a pawn of relish in the gust?
Or have we to salvation no tie
At all, but that of our infirmity?
Who treats with us, must our affections move
To th' good we fly, by those sweets which we love;
Must seek our palates; and, with their delight
To gain our deeds, must bribe our appetite.
These trains he knew; and, laying nets to save,
Temptingly sugar'd all the health he gave.
But where is now that chime? that harmony
Hath left the world. Now the loud organ may
Appear, the better voice is fled to have
A thousand times the sweetness which it gave.
I cannot say how many thousand spirits
The single happiness, this soul inherits,
Damns in the other world; souls, whom no cross
O' th' sense afflicts, but only of the other loss;
Whom ignorance would half save, all whose pain
Is not in what they feel, but other's gain;
Self-executing wretched spirits, who,
Carrying their guilt, transport their envy too.
But those high joys, which his wit's youngest flame
Would hurt to choose, shall not we hurt to name?
Verse-statues are all robbers; all we make
Of monument, thus doth not give, but take.
As sails, which seamen to a forewind fit,
By a resistance go along with it;
So pens grow while they lessen fame so left:
A weak assistance is a kind of theft.
Who hath not love to ground his tears upon,
Must weep here, if he have ambition.
THE DEAN OF ST. PAUL'S, Dr. John donne,
CAN we not force from widow'd Poetry,
Now thou art dead (great Donne) an elegy,
To crown thy hearse? Why yet dare we not trust,
Though with unkneaded dough bak'd prose,thy dust?
Such as the unsizar'd churchman from the flow'r
Of fading rhetoric, short-liv'd as his hour,
Dry as the sand, that measures it, should lay
Upon thy ashes on the funeral day?
Have we no voice, no tune? Didst thou dispense
Through all our language, both the words and sense?
'T is a sad truth; the pulpit may her plain
And sober Christian precepts still retain;
Doctrines it may and wholesome uses frame,
Grave hoinilies and lectures; but the flame
Of thy brave soul (that shot such heat and light, As burnt our earth, and made our darkness bright, Committed holy rapes upon our will,
Did through the eye the melting heart distill,
And the deep knowledge of dark truths so teach,
As sense might judge, what fancy could not reach)
Must be desir'd for ever. So the fire,
That fills with spirit and heat the Delphic choir,
Which, kindled first by the Promethean breath,
Glow'd here awhile, lies quench'd now in thy death.
The Muse's garden, with pedantic weeds
O'erspread, was purg'd by thee; the lazy seeds
Of servile imitation thrown away,
And fresh invention planted. Thou didst pay
The debts of our penurious bankrupt age,
Licentious thefts, that make poetic rage
A mimic fury, when our souls must be
Possess'd, or with Anacreon's ecstasy,
Or Pindar's, not their own; the subtle cheat
Of she-exchanges, and the juggling feat
Of two-edg'd words, or whatsoever wrong
By ours was done the Greek or Latin tongue,
Thou hadst redeem'd, and open'd us a mine
Of rich and pregnant fancy, drawn a line
Of masculine expression; which had good
Old Orpheus seen, or all the ancient brood
Our superstitious fools admire, and hold
Their lead more precious than thy burnish'd gold,
Thou hadst been their exchequer, and no more
They in each other's dust had rak'd for ore.
Thou shalt yield no precedence, but of time,
And the blind fate of language, whose tun'd chime
More charms the outward sense; yet thou may'st
From so great disadvantage greater fame, [claim
Since to the awe of thy imperious wit,
Our stubborn language bends; made only fit
With her tough thick ribb'd hoops to gird about
Thy giant-fancy, which had prov'd too stout
For their soft melting phrases. As in time
They had the start, so did they cull the prime
Buds of invention many a hundred year;
And left the rifled fields, besides the fear
To touch their harvest: yet from those bare lands
Of what is purely thine, thy only hands
(And that thy smallest work) have gleaned more,
Than all those times and tongues could reap before,
But thou art gone, and thy strict laws will be
Too hard for libertines in poetry.
They will repeal the goodly exil'd train
Of gods and goddesses, which in thy just reign
Were banish'd nobler poems; now with these
The silenc'd tales to th' Metamorphoses
Shall stuff their lines, and swell the windy page,
Till verse refin'd by thee, in this last age,
Turn ballad-rhyme; or those old idols be
Ador'd again, with new apostasy.
Oh, pardon me, that break with untun'd verse
The reverend silence, that attends thy hearse,
Whose awful solemn murmurs were to thee,
More than these faint lines, a loud elegy,
That did proclaim in a dumb eloquence
The death of all the arts; whose influence,
Grown feeble, in these panting numbers lies
Gasping short-winded accents, and so dies.
So doth the swiftly turning wheel not stand
In th' instant we withdraw the moving hand;
But some small time maintains a faint weak course,
By virtue of the first impulsive force;
And so whilst I cast on thy funeral pile
Thy crown of bays, oh, let it crack awhile,
And spit disdain; till the devouring flashes
Suck all the moisture up, then turn to ashes.
I will not draw the envy to engross
All thy perfections, or weep all our loss;
Those are too numerous for an elegy,
| And this too great to be express'd by me.
Though every pen should share a distinct part,
Yet thou art theme enough to try all art.
Let others carve the rest, it shall suffice
I on thy tomb this epitaph incise.
Here lies a king, that rul'd, as he thought fit,
The universal monarchy of wits
Here lie two Flamens, and both those, the best;
Apollo's first, at last, the true God's priest.
ELEGY ON DR. DONNE,
BY SIR LUCIUS CARY.
POETS, attend; the elegy I sing
Both of a double named priest and king: Instead of coats and pendants bring your verse, For you must be chief mourners at his hearse : A tomb your Muse must to his fame supply, No other monuments can never die.