Verse > Anthologies > Edward Farr, comp. > Jacobean Poetry
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Edward Farr, ed.  Select Poetry of the Reign of King James the First.  1847.
 
Stanzas from “Eliza’s Funeral”
XVI. Henry Petowe
 
THEN 1 withered the primrose of delight,
Hanging the head ore sorrowe’s garden wall,
When you might see all pleasures shun the light,
And love obscuer, at Eliza’s fall—
Her fall from life to death: oh! stay not there;        5
Though she were dead, the shril-tong’d trump of heaven
Rais’d her again: think that you see her heere,
E’en heere,—oh, where? not heere; shee ’s hence bereaven;
For sweet Eliza in Elizium lives,
In joy beyond all thought. Then weepe no more,        10
Your sighing weedes put off; for weeping gives
(Wayling her losse) as seeming to deplore
Our future toward fortunes: mourne not, then;
You cease awhile, but now you weepe agen.
 
Why should a soule in passion be denied        15
To have true feelings of her essence misse?
My soule hath lost herself; now deified,
I needes must moane her losse, ’tho crown’d with blisse.
Then give me leave, for I must weepe awhile,
Till sorrow’s deluge have a lower ebbe:        20
Let lamentation never finde a stile
To passe this dale of woe, untill the webbe
Appointed for my latest mourning weed
Be spun and woven with a heavie band;
Then will I cease to weepe,—I will indeed,        25
And every beating billowe will withstand.
’Twill not be long before this web be spun,
Dy’d blacke, worne out, and then my teares be done.
 
Of April’s month the eight and twentith day,
M. six hundred and three, by computation,        30
Is the prefixed time for sorowe’s stay;
That past, my mourning weedes grow out of fashion.
Shall I by prayer hasten on the time?
Faine would I so, because mine eyes are drie.
What cannot prayers doo for soules divine,        35
Although the bodies be mortallitie?
Divine she is, for whom my muse doth mourne,
Though lately mortall: now she sits on hie,
Glorious in heaven, thither by angells borne,
To live with Him in bliss eternally.        40
Then come, faire day of joy full smiling sorrow;
Since my teares dry, come, happie day, to-morrow.
 
Ye heralds of my heart, my heavie groanes,
My teares which, if they could, would showre like raine,—
My heavie lookes, and all my surdging mones,—        45
My moaning lamentations that complayne,—
When will you cease? or shall paine never ceasing
Seaze on my heart? oh, mollifie your rage,
Least your assaults, with over-swift increasing,
Procure my death, or call on tymeles age.        50
She lives in peace whome I doe mourne for so;
She lives in heaven, and yet my soule laments.
Since shee’s so happie, I’le converte my woe,
To present joy turne all my languishments;
And with my sorrowes see the time doth wast,        55
The day is come, and mid-day wel-nigh past.
 
Gaze, greedy eye; note what thou dost beholde:
Our horizon’s of a perfect hew,
As cleere as christall, and the day not olde,
Yet thousand blacks present them to thy view:        60
Three thousand and od hundred clowds appere
Upon the earthly element below,
As blacke as night, trampling the lower sphere,
As by degrees from place to place they goe,
They passe away—oh, whither passe they then?        65
Into a further climate, out of sight;
Like clowds they were, but yet like clowded men,
Whose presence turned the day to sable night.
They vanish thence: note what was after seene—
The lively picture of a late dead Queene;        70
 
Who, like to Phœbus in his golden car,
Was the bright eye of the obscured day;
And though her glorious prograce was not far,
Yet like the smiling sunne this semblance lay,
Drawne in a jetty charriot, vayled with blacke,        75
By four faire palfries, that did hang the head
As if their lady mistres they did lacke,
And they but drew the figure of the dead.
Oh yee spectators, which did view that sight,
Say, if you trulie say, could you refraine        80
To shed a sea of teares in Deathe’s despight,
That reft her hence, whom Art brought back againe?
He that knew her, and had Eliza seen,
Would sweare that figure were faire England’s Queene.
 
“Faire England’s Queene, e’en to the life, tho’ dead;”        85
Speake, if I write not true, did you not crye—
Cry foorth amaine, and say, “Her princely head
Lay on a pillowe of a crimson dye,
Like a sweat beauty in a harmless slumber;—
She is not dead: no, sure, it cannot be”?        90
Thus with unlikely hopes the vulgar number
Flatter themselves—(oh, sweet-lyv’d flatterie!)
Indeed, a man of judgment would have thought,
Had he not known her dead, but seene her so
Tryumphant drawne, in robes so richly wrought,        95
Crowne on her head, in hand her sceptre too:
At this rare sight he would have sworn and said,
“To parliament rides this sweet slumb’ring maid.”
 
But that my warrant’s seal’d by Truthe’s one 2 hand,
That in her counterfeit Art did excell,        100
I would not say that in this little land
Pigmalion’s equal doth admired dwell.
Enough of that:—and now my teares are done,
Since she that dy’d lives now above the spheres.
Luna’s extinct; and now beholde the sunne,        105
Whose beames soake up the moysture of all teares:
A phœnix from her ashes doth arise,
A King, at whose faire crowne all glory ayms;
God grant his royal vertues simpathize
With late Eliza’s!—so God save King James!        110
He that in love to this saies not Amen,
Pray God the villaine never speake agen! Amen.
 
Note 1. XVI. Henry Petowe.—He wrote “Elizabetha quasi vivens. Eliza’s Funerall. A fewe Aprill Drops, showred on the Hearse of dead Eliza: or, the Funerall Teares of a true-hearted subject.” This work was published in 1603. Petowe also wrote “England’s Cæsar. His Majestie’s most royall Coronation, etc.,” which appeared in the same year. No notice of this author has been transmitted by any of our poetical biographers; but it seems probable that he was some dependent on the court, as in his dedication to “Eliza’s Funerall,” he speaks of his private sorrows for the loss of Queen Elizabeth, and as he so quickly pays congratulation to her regal successor. This work, from which our extract is given, was dedicated “To the worthy and curteous gentleman, Mr. Richard Hildersham.” [back]
Note 2. own. [back]
 
 
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