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41

ELEGIES AND EPITAPHS.

ON THE

DEATH OF MRS. ELIZABETH FILMER.

AN ELEGIACAL EPITAPH.

Yoy that shall live awhile before
Old Time tires, and is no more;
When that this ambitious stone
Stoops low as what it tramples on;
Know that in that age when Sin
Gave the world law, and govern'd queen,
A virgin liv'd, that still put............
White thoughts, though out of fashion;
That trac'd the stars spite of report,
And durst be good, though chidden fort:
Of such a soul ......

heay'n
Repeuted what it thus had giv'n;
For finding equal happy man,
Th' impatient pow'rs snatch'd it again ;
Thus chaste as th' air whither she's fled,
She making her celestial bed
In her warm alabaster lay
As cold as in this house of clay;

Nor were the rooms unfit to feast
Or circumscribe this angel-guest;
The radiant gem was brightly set
In as divine a carkanet;
For which the clearer was not known,
Her mind, or her complexion :
Such an everlasting grace,
Such a beatific face
Incloisters here this narrow floor
That possess'd all hearts before.
Bless'd and bewail'd in death and birth!
The smiles and tears of heav'n and earth!
Virgins at each step are afeard,
Filmer is shot by which they steer'd,
Their star extinct, their beauty dead
That the young world to honour led;
But see! the rapid spheres stand still,
And tune themselves unto her will.
Thus, although this marble must,
As all things, crumble into dust,
And though you find this fair-built tomb
Ashes, as what lies in its womb;
Yet her saint-like name shall shine
A living glory to this shrine,
And her eternal fame be read,
When all, but very Virtue's dead*.

Lucasta, &c. by Richard Lovelace,

Edit. 1649.

* And her eternal fame be read,

When all but very Virtue's dead.] Somewhat in the manner of Collins :

Belov'd till life can charm no more ;
And mourn'd till Pity's self be dead.

Dirge in Cymbeline.

EPITAPH

ON

THE LADY MARY VILLIERS.

The Lady Mary Villiers lies
Under this stone; with weeping eyes
The parents that first gave her birth,
And their sad friends, laid her in earth :.
If
any

of them (reader) were
Known unto thee, shed a tear ;
Or if thyself possess a gem,
As dear to thee, as this to them;
Though a stranger to this place,
Bewail in theirs, thine own hard case;
For thou perhaps at thy return
May'st find thy darling in an urn*.

T. Carew's Poems, p. 90,

Edit. 1640.

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* I have always considered this Epitaph as Carew's masterpiece. The subject of it may possibly be the same person, to whose nuptials with Lord Charles Herbert, Davenant has inscribed some verses. P. 238, fol. edit.

ON

THE EARL OF DORSET'S DEATH, ,

Let no

no profane ignoble foot tread bere,
This hallowed piece of earth, Dorset lies there :
A small poor relic of a noble spirit,
Free as the air, and ample as his merit:
A soul refin'd, no proud forgetting lord,
But mindful of mean names, and of his word:
Who lov'd men for his honour, not his ends,
And had the noblest way of getting friends
By loving first, and yet who knew the court,
But understood it better by report
Than practice: he nothing took from thence
But the king's favour for his recompence.
Who for religion, or his country's good,
Neither his honour valued, nor his blood.
Rich in the world's opinion, and men's praise,
And full in all we could desire, but days:
He that is warn’d of this, and shall forbear
To vent a sigh for him, or shed a tear,
May he live long scorn'd, and unpitied fall,
And want a mourner at his funeral.

Poems, by Dr. Corbet, Bp. of Norwich,

p. 51, Edit. 1647.

ON THE

DEATH OF A YOUNG LADY.

Fond wight, who dream'st of greatness, glory, state,

,
And worlds of pleasures, honours to devise *,
Awake, learn how that here thou art not great,
Nor glorious; by this monument turn wise.

One it enshrineth sprung of ancient stem,
And (if that blood nobility can make)
From which some kings have not disdain’d to take
Their proud descent, a rare and matchless gem.

A beauty here it holds, alas, too fast!
Than which no blooming rose was more refin’d,
Nor morning's blush more radiant ever shin’d,
Ah! too too like to morn and rose at last.

It holds her who in Wit's ascendant far
Did

years and sex transcend, to whom the heaven
More virtue than to all this age had given,
For Virtue meteor turn'd, when she a star.

Fair Mirth, sweet Conversation, Modesty,
And what those kings of numbers did conceive

honours to devise.] The Edinb. edit. reads more properly, honours dost devise."

The exclamation in the last line of this piece is particularly in Drummond's best manner.

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