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AN EPITAPH ON SALATHIEL PAVY, A CHILD OF
QUEEN ELIZABETH'S CHAPEL.
Weep with me, all you that read
This little story ;
And know, for whom a tear you shed
Death's self is sorry.
'Twas a child that so did thrive
In grace and feature,
As Heaven and Nature seemed to strive
Which owned the creature.
Years he numbered scarce thirteen
When Fates turned cruel,
Yet three filled zodiacs had he been
The stage's jewel ;
And did act, what now we moan,
Old men so duly,
As, sooth, the Parcæ thought him one,-
He played so truly,
So, by error to his fate
They all consented;
But viewing him since, alas, too late
They have repented;
And have sought to give new birth
In baths to steep him ;
But being so much too good for earth,
Heaven vows to keep him.
EPITAPH ON ELIZABETH L. H.
Wouldst thou hear what man can say
In a little ? Reader, stay.
Underneath this stone doth lie
As much beauty as could die :
Which in life did harbour give
To more virtue than doth live. 1 These children (called in the next reign Children of Her Majesty's Revels) were trained up to act before the Queen. Salathiel had acted in two of Jonson's plays, in 1600, and in 1601, when he is supposed to have died.
If at all she had a fault,
Leave it buried in this vault.
One name was ELIZABETH ;
The other, let it sleep in death,
Fitter, where it died to tell,
Than that it lived at all. Farewell !
Where dost thou careless lie
Buried in ease and sloth ? Knowledge that sleeps, doth die ; And this security,
It is the common moth That eats on wits and arts, and [that]' destroys them both.
Are all the Aonian springs
Dried up? lies Thespia waste ? Doth Clarius' harp want strings, That not a nymph now sings ;
Or droop they as disgraced, To see their seats and bowers by chattering pies defaced ? If hence thy silence be,
As 'tis too just a cause, Let this thought quicken thee : Minds that are great and free
Should not on fortune pause ;
'Tis crown enough to virtue still, her own applause
What though the greedy fry
Be taken with false baits
Of worded balladry,
And think it poësy ?
They die with their conceits,
And only piteous scorn upon their folly waits.
1. That' conj. VOL. II.
Then take in hand thy lyre ;
Strike in thy proper strain ;
With Japhet's linel aspire
Sol's chariot, for new fire
To give the world again :
Who aided him, will thee, the issue of Jove's brain.
And, since our dainty age
Cannot endure reproof,
Make not thyself a page
To that strumpet the stage';
But sing high and aloof,
Safe from the wolf's black jaw, and the dull ass's hoof.
TO THE MEMORY OF MY BELOVED MASTER WILLIAM
SHAKSPEARE, AND WHAT HE HATH LEFT US.
[Printed by Gifford in Underwoods, but really from the First Folio edition of Shakspeare, 1623.]
To draw no envy, Shakspeare, on thy name,
Am I thus ample to thy book and fame ;
While I confess thy writings to be such,
As neither Man nor Muse can praise too much.
'Tis true, and all men's suffrage. But these ways
Were not the paths I meant unto thy praise;
For seeliest ignorance on these may light,
Which, when it sounds at best, but echoes right;
Or blind affection, which doth ne'er advance
The truth, but gropes, and urgeth all by chance ;
Or crafty malice might pretend this praise,
And think to ruin where it seemed to raise.
These are, as some infamous bawd or whore
Should praise a matron; what could hurt her more?
But thou art proof against them and, indeed,
Above the ill fortune of them, or the need.
I therefore will begin : Soul of the age !
The applause, delight, the wonder of our stage !
My SHAKSPEARE, rise! I will not lodge thee by
Chaucer, or Spenser, or bid Beaumont lie
A little further, to make thee a room":
Thou art a monument without a tomb,
And art alive still while thy book doth live,
And we have wits to read, and praise to give.
That I not mix thee so my brain excuses,-
I mean with great, but disproportioned Muses ;
For if I thought my judgment were of years,
I should commit thee surely with thy peers,
And tell how far thou didst our Lyly outshine,
Or sporting Kyd, or Marlowe's mighty line.
And though thou hadst small Latin and less Greek,
From thence to honour thee, I would not seek
For names, but call forth thund'ring Æschylus,
Euripides, and Sophocles to us,
Pacuvius, Accius, him of Cordova ? dead,
To life again, to hear thy buskin tread,
And shake a stage; or when thy socks were on,
Leave thee alone for a comparison
Of all that insolent Greece or haughty Rome
Sent forth, or since did from their ashes come.
Triumph, my Britain, thou hast one to show,
To whom all scenes of Europe homage owe.
He was not of an age, but for all time !
And all the Muses still were in their prime,
When, like Apollo, he came forth to warm
Our ears, or like a Mercury to charm!
Nature herself was proud of his designs,
And joyed to wear the dressing of his lines,
1 In allusion to W. Basse's elegy on Shakspeare, beginning
• Renowned Spenser, lie a thought more nigh
To learned Chaucer; and rare Beaumont, lie
A little nearer Spenser, to make room
For Shakespear in your threefold, fourfold tomb.' 2 Seneca.
Which were so richly spun, and woven so fit,
As, since, she will vouchsafe no other wit.
The merry Greek, tart Aristophanes,
Neat Terence, witty Plautus, now not please ;
But antiquated and deserted lie,
As they were not of Nature's family.
Yet must I not give Nature all ; thy Art,
My gentle Shakspeare, must enjoy a part.
For though the poet's matter nature be,
His art doth give the fashion; and that he 1
Who casts to write a living line, must sweat
(Such as thine are) and strike the second heat
Upon the Muses' anvil, turn the same,
And himself with it, that he thinks to frame;
Or for the laurel he may gain to scorn ;
For a good poet's made, as well as born.
And such wert thou! Look, how the father's face
Lives in his issue, even so the race
Of Shakspeare's mind and manners brightly shines
In his well turned and true filèd lines,
In each of which he seems to shake a lance,
As brandished at the eyes of ignorance.
Sweet Swan of Avon ! what a sight it were
To see thee in our waters yet appear,
And make those flights upon the banks of Thames,
That so did take Eliza and our James !
But stay, I see thee in the hemisphere
Advanced, and made a constellation there !
Shine forth, thou Star of Poets, and with rage
Or influence chide or cheer the drooping stage,
Which, since thy flight from hence, hath mourned like night,
And despairs day but for thy volume's light.