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AN EPITAPH ON SHAKSPEARE. Renowned Chaucer, lie a thought more nigh To rare Beaumond; and learned Beaumond lie A little nearer Spencer, to make room For Shakspeare in your threefold fourfold tomb. To lie all four in one bed make a shift, For until doomsday hardly will a fift Betwixt this day and that be slain, For whom your curtains need be drawn again ; But, if precedency of death doth bar A fourth place in your sacred sepulchre, Under this curled marble of thine own Sleep rare tragedian Shakspeare, sleep alone, That unto us and others it may be Honour, hereafter to be laid by thee.
FATHER of heaven, and him, by whom
It, and us for it, and all else, for us Thou madest, and governest ever, come And recreate me, now grown ruinous
My heart is by dejection, clay,
And by self-murder, red.
2. The Son.
O Son of God, who seeing two things,
Sin, and death crept in, which were never made, By bearing one, try'dst with what stings The other could thine heritage invade;
O be thou nailed unto my heart,
And crucified again, Part not from it, though it from thee would part, But let it be, by applying so thy pain, Drowned in thy blood, and in thy passion slain.
3. THE HOLY GHOST.
O Holy Ghost, whose temple I
Am, but of mud walls, and condensed dust, And being sacrilegiously Half-wasted with youth's fires, of pride and lust,
Must with new storms be weatherbeat;
Double in my heart thy flame, Which let devout sad tears intend; and let (Though this glass lanthorn, flesh, do suffer maim) Fire sacrifice, priest, altar be the same.
4. THE TRINITY,
O Blessed glorious Trinity,
Bones to philosophy, but milk to faith,
As you distinguished undistinct
By power, love, knowledge be, Give me a such self-different instinct, Of these let all me elemented be, Of power, to love, to know, you unnumb'red Three.
5. THE VIRGIN MARY.
For that fair blessed mother-maid,
Whose flesh redeemed us; that she-cherubin,
Whose womb was a strange heaven, for there
God clothed himself, and grew,
6. THE ANGELS. And since this life our nonage is,
And we in wardship to thine angels be,
As the earth conceiving by the sun,
Yields fair diversity, Yet never knows which course that light doth run, So let me study, that mine actions be Worthy their sight, though blind in how they see.
7. THE PATRIARCHS.
And let thy patriarchs' desire
(Those great-grandfathers of thy church, which saw More in the cloud, than we in fire, Whom nature cleared more, than us grace and law,
And now in heaven still pray, that we
May use our new helps right) Be sanctified, and fructify in me;
Let not my mind be blinder by more light,
8. THE PROPHETS.
Which were thy church's organs, and did sound
Those heavenly poets which did see
Thy will, and it express
9. THE APOSTLES.
And thy illustrious zodiak
Of twelve apostles, which ingirt this all,
As through their prayers, thou hast let me know
That their books are divine;
10. THE MARTYRS.
And since thou so desirously
Did'st long to die, that long before thou could'st,
In Abel die, and ever since
In thine, let their blood come
11. THE CONFESSORS.
A virgin squadron of white confessors,
Tendered, not taken by those ravishers:
“ Thrown down do fall;"-Anderson's Poets; but the word throw is hero used in a neuter sense. -- ED.
They know, and pray, that we may know
In every Christian
The cold white snowy nunnery,
Which, as thy mother, their high abbess, sent
Though they have not obtained of thee,
That, or thy church, or I,
13. THE DOCTORS.
Thy sacred academe above
Of doctors, whose pains have unclasped, and taught Both books of life to us (for love To know thy Scriptures, tells us, we are wrote
In thy other book) pray for us there
That what they have misdone
And whilst this universal quire,
That church in triumph, this in warfare here,
Prays ceaselessly, and thou hearken too
(Since to be gracious Our task is treble, to pray, bear, and do) Hear this prayer, Lord, O Lord deliver us From trusting in those prayers, though pour'd out thus.