Verse > Anthologies > Edward Farr, comp. > Jacobean Poetry
Edward Farr, ed.  Select Poetry of the Reign of King James the First.  1847.
An Address to Death
LI. George Chapman
PARTIALL 1 devourer ever of the best!
With headlong rapture sparing long the rest,
Could not the precious teares his father shed,
That are with kingdomes to be ransomed,
His bleeding prayer, upon his knees, t’implore        5
That if for any sin of his, Heaven tore
From his most royall body that chief limme,
It might be ransom’d, for the rest of him?
Could not the sacred eies thou didst prophane
In his great mother’s teares? the spightful bane        10
Thou pour’dst upon the cheekes of all the Graces,
In his most gracious sister’s? the defaces
With all the furies’ overflowing galles
Cursedly fronting her neere nuptials?
Could not, O could not the Almighty ruth        15
Of all these force thee to forbeare the youth
Of our incomparable Prince of men,
Whose age had made thy iron forke his pen,
T’ eternise what it now doth murder meerely,
And shall have, from my soule, my curses yeerely?        20
Tyrant! what knew’st thou but the barbarous wound
Thou gav’st the son, the father might confound?
Both liv’d so mixtly, and were joyntly one;
Spirit to spirit cleft; the humor bred
In one heart, straight was with the other fed;        25
The blood of one the other’s heart did fire—
The heart and humour were the son and sire;
The heart yet (void of humour’s slender’st part)
May easier live, than humour without heart:
The river needes the helpfull fountaine ever,        30
More then the fountaine the supplyed river.
Note 1. LI. George Chapman was the author of a great many dramatic works, and some miscellaneous poems. Extracts are given here from his “Euthymiæ Raptus; or the Teares of Peace, 1609, etc.” “There is a grave and masculine morality,” says Sir Egerton Brydges, “in most of Chapman’s productions, which renders them deserving of particular notice: his personal character seems to have corresponded with his writings. Oldys remarks that the head of Chapman was a treasury or chronicle of whatever was memorable among the poets of his time; and that he preserved in his own conduct the true dignity of poetry, which he compared to the sun-flower, that disdains to open its leaves to a smoking taper. Drayton calls him Reverend Chapman, and Wood pronounced him to have been a ‘person of a most reverent aspect, religious, and temperate;’ qualities rarely meeting in a poet.” [back]

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