Verse > Anthologies > William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. > The Book of Elizabethan Verse
William Stanley Braithwaite, ed.  The Book of Elizabethan Verse.  1907.
An Epitaph on Salathiel Pavy
By Ben Jonson (1572–1637)
A Child of Queen Elizabeth’s Chapel

WEEP 1 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        5
  In grace and feature,
As heaven and nature seemed to strive
  Which own’d the creature.
Years he number’d scarce thirteen
  When Fates turn’d cruel,        10
Yet three fill’d 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,        15
  He played so truly.
So, by error to his fate,
  They all consented;
But, viewing him since, alas too late!
  They have repented;        20
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.
Note 1. Salathiel Pavy acted in Cynthia’s Revels, 1601, and in The Poetaster, 1601; he probably died in the latter year. (Gifford.) “For sweetness and simplicity,” says Swinburne, “it has few if any equals among his lyrical attempts.” (A Study of Ben Jonson.) [back]

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