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EPITAPH ON THE COUNTESS OF PEMBROKE, 818TER TO SIR
UNDERNEATH this marble herse
ON LUCY, COUNTESS OF BEDFORD. This morning, timely rapt with holy fire,
I thought to form unto my zealous Muse
To honour, serve, and love; as poets use.
Of greatest blood, and yet more good than great; I meant the day-star should not brighter rise,
Nor lend like influence from his lucent seat. I meant she should be courteous, facile, sweet,
Hating that solemn vice of greatness, pride ; I meant each softest virtue there should meet,
Fit in that softer bosom to reside. Only a learned and a manly soul
I purposed her; that should, with even pow'rs, The rock, the spindle, and the shears control
Of Destiny, and spin her own free hours. Such when I meant to feign, and wish'd to see,
My Muse bade, Bedford write, and that was she.
DRINK to me only with thine eyes,
And I will pledge with mine;
And I'll not look for wine.
The thirst, that from the soul doth rise,
Doth ask a drink divine :
I would not change for thine.
I sent thee, late, a rosy wreath,
Not so much honouring thee,
It could not wither'd be.
And sent'st it back to me:
Not of itself, but thee.
SONG OF NIGHT.
BREAK, Phant’sie, from thy cave of cloud,
And spread thy purple wings;
And various shapes of things;
Yet let it like an odour rise
To all the senses here,
Or music in their ear.
EPITAPH ON ELIZABETH L. H.
UNDERNEATH this stone doth lie
SIR HENRY WOTTON. 1568-1639.
FAREWELL, ye gilded follies! pleasing troubles;
And torture free-born minds; embroider'd trains
I would be great, but that the sun doth still
Would the world now adopt me for her heir, Would beauty's queen entitle me "the fair," Fame speak me fortune's minion, could I vie Angels with India; with a speaking eye
* Angels, pieces of money. VOL. I.-F
Command bare heads, bow'd knees, strike justice
dumb As well as blind and lame, or give a tongue To stones by epitaphs ; be call'd great master In the loose rhymes of every poetaster; Could I be more than any man that lives, Great, fair, rich, wise, all in superlatives : Yet I more freely would these gifts resign, Than ever fortune would have made them mine; And hold one minute of this holy leisure Beyond the riches of this empty pleasure. Welcome, pure thoughts! welcome, ye silent groves! These guests, these courts, my soul most dearly loves. Now the wing’d people of the sky shall sing My cheerful anthems to the gladsome spring ; A prayer-book now shall be my looking-glass, In which I will adore sweet virtue's face; Here dwell no hateful looks, no palace cares, No broken vows dwell here, nor pale-faced fears : Then here I'll sit, and sigh my hot love's folly, And learn to affect a holy melancholy; And if Contentment be a stranger then, I'll ne'er look for it but in heav'n again.
I know that all beneath the moon decays,
I know frail beauty like the purple flower,
Know what I list, all this cannot me move,
If cross'd with all mishaps be my poor life,
Why seek I to prolong these loathsome days?
Sweet soul, which in the April of thy years,
And whilst kings' tombs with laurels flourish green,