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How should we know thy soul had been secur'd
In honest counsels, and in ways unbase,
Hadst thou not stood to show us what thou wert,
By thy affliction that descry'd thy heart?
It is not but the tempest that doth shew
The sea-man's cunning: but the field that tries
The captain's courage: and we come to know
Best what men are, in their worst jeopardies :
For lo, how many have we seen to grow
To high renown from lowest miseries,
Out of the hands of death; and many a one
To have been undone, had they not been undone !
He that endures for what his conscience knows
Not to be ill, doth from a patience high
Look only on the cause whereto he owes
Those sufferings, not on his misery:
The more he endures, the more his glory grows,
Which never grows from imbecillity:
Only the best compos'd and worthiest hearts
God sets to act the hardest and constant'st parts.
Upon the Death of the most noble Lord, Henry, Earl of Southampton, written by Sir John Beaumont, Bart. 1624: Printed by his Son in 1629.
WHEN now the life of great Southampton ends,
His fainting servants and astonish'd friends
Stand like so many weeping marble stones,
No passage left to utter sighs, or groans:
And must I first dissolve the bonds of grief,
And strain forth words, to give the rest relief?
I will be bold my trembling voice to try,
That his dear name may not in silence die.
The world must pardon, if my song be weak;
In such a case it is enough to speak.
My verses are not for the present age;
For what man lives, or breathes on England's stage,
That knew not brave Southampton, in whose sight
Most place their day, and in his absence night?
I strive, that unborn children may conceive,
Of what a jewel angry fates bereave
This mournful kingdom; and, when heavy woes
Oppress their hearts, think ours as great as those.
In what estate shall I him first express?
In youth, or age, in oy, or in distress?
When he was young, no ornament of youth
Was wanting in him, acting that in truth
Which Cyrus did in shadow; and to men
Appear'd like Peleus' son from Chiron's den:
While through this island Fame his praise reports,
As best in martial deeds, and courtly sports.
When riper age with winged feet repairs,
Grave care adorns his head with silver hairs;
His valiant fervour was not then decay'd,
But join'd with counsel, as a further aid.
Behold his constant and undaunted eye,
In greatest danger, when condemn'd to die!
He scorns the insulting adversary's breath,
And will admit no fear, though near to death.
But when our gracious sovereign had regain'd
This light, with clouds obscur'd, in walls detain'd;
And by his favour plac'd this star on high,
Fix'd in the Garter, England's azure sky;
He pride (which dimms such change) as much did hate,
As base dejection in his former state.
When he was call'd to sit, by Jove's command,
Among the demigods that rule this land,
No power, no strong persuasion, could him draw
From that, which he conceiv'd as right and law.
When shall we in this realm a father find
So truly sweet, or husband half so kind?
Thus he enjoy'd the best contents of life,
Obedient children, and a loving wife.
These were his parts in peace; but Ọ, how far
This noble soul excell'd itself in war!
He was directed by a natural vein,
True honour by this painful way to gain.
Let Ireland witness, where he first appears,
And to the fight his warlike ensigns bears.
And thou, O Belgia, wert in hope to see
The trophies of his conquests wrought in thee;
But Death, who durst not meet him in the field,
In private by close treachery made him yield.-
I keep that glory last, which is the best;
The love of learning, which he oft exprest
By conversation, and respect to those
Who had a name in arts, in verse or prose.
Shall ever I forget, with what delight,
He on my simple lines would cast his sight?
His only memory my poor work adorns,
He is a father to my crown of thorns.
Now since his death how can ever look,
Without some tears, upon that orphan book?
Ye sacred Muses, if ye will admit
My name into the roll which ye have writ
Of all your servants, to my thoughts display
Some rich conceit, some unfrequented way,
Which may hereafter to the world commend
A picture fit for this my noble friend:
For this is nothing, all these rhimes I scorn;
Let pens be broken, and the paper torn;
And with his last breath let my musick cease,
Unless my lowly poem could increase
In true description of immortal things;
And, rais'd above the earth with nimble wings,
Fly like an eagle from his funeral fire,
Admir'd by all, as all did him admire.
The Teares of the Isle of Wight, shed on the Tombe of their most Noble, valorous, and louing Captaine and Gouernour, the right Honourable Henrie, Earle of Southampton: who dyed in the Netherlands, Nouemb. 4g at Bergenop-Zone. As also the true Image of his Person and Vertues, Iames; the Lord Wriothesley, Knight of the Bath, and Baron of Titchfield; who dyed Nouemb. + at Rosendaell. And were both buried in the Sepulcher of their Fathers, at Tichfield, on Innocents day, 1624.
To the Right Honovrable, Thomas, Earle of Sovthampton; All Peace and Happinesse.
My very Honourable good Lord :
It hath pleased God to make your Lordship Heire vnto your most Noble Father, and therefore I thinke you haue most right to these Teares, which were shed for him, and your renowned Elder Brother. If I did not know by mine own obseruasion, that your Lordship was a diligent Obseruer of all your Fathers Vertues (touching which also, you haue a daily Remembrancer) I would exhort you to behold the shadow of them
delienated here, by those which much admired him liuing, and shall neuer cease to honour his Memory, and loue those that doe any Honour vnto him. The Lord increase the Honour of your House, and reioyce ouer you to doe you good, vntill hee haue Crowned you with Immortalitie. Your Lordships at command, W. IONES.
To the Reader.
Coming lately to London I found in publike and priuat, many Monuments of honor, loue and griefe, to those Great Worthies; the Earle of Southampton, and his Sonne, which lately deceased in the Low-Countries, whiles they did Honour to our State and Friends. And because it cannot be denied, but wee of the Isle of Wight (of whom that Noble Earle had the speciall Charge and Care) were most obliged vnto his Honour: I thought it very meet to publish these Teares, which (for the greater part) were shed in the Island long since for priuate vse, and adiudged to darknesse; but that my selfe (being bound by particular duty to doe all Honour to these Gracious Lords) intreated that they might still liue, which not without importunitie I obtained. And now they are set forth, neither for fashion, nor flattery, nor ostentation; but meerely to declare our loue and respect, to to our neuer sufficiently Commended Noble Captaine. So take them without curiositie; and farewell.
1 From this it appears that some Elegies on Lord Southampton had been published soon after his death, which have not yet been discovered. Braithwaite published a poem on his death, called Britaines Bathe, but I have not met with it.
An Epicede vpon the Death of the right Noble and Honourable Lord, Henry, Earle of Southampton, Baron of Tichfield, Knight of the most Honourable Order of the Garter: Captaine of the Isle of Wight.
Mors vltima, linea rerum.
Quis est homo qui viuet & non videbit mortem. Ps.
Yee famous Poets of this Southerne Islle,
Straine forth the raptures of your Tragick Muse;
And with your Laurea't Pens come and compile,
The praises due to this Great Lord: peruse
His Globe of Worth, and eke his Vertues braue,
Like learned Maroes at Mecenas graue.
Valour and Wisdome were in thee confin'd;
The Gemini of thy perfection,
And all the Graces were in thee combin'd,
The rich mans ioy and poores refection,
Therefore the King of Kings doth thee imbrace,
For aye to dwell in iust Astræas place.
Nought is Immortall vnderneath the Sun,
Wee all are subiect to Deaths restlesse date,
Wee end our liues before they are begun,
And mark't in the Eternall Booke of Fate.
But for thy Selfe, and Heire one thred was spun
And cut like Talbots and his valiant Sonne.
Planet of Honour rest, Diuinely sleepe
Secure from iealousie and worldly feares,
Thy Soule Iehovah will it safely keepe:
I, at thy Vrne will drop sad Funerall Teares.
Thou Aleluiah's vnto God alone,
And to the Lambe that sits amidst his Throne.
I can no more in this lugubrious Verse:
Reader depart, and looke on Sidneys Herse.