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Excester had the rear,
A braver man not there,
And now preparing were

For the false Frenchman,

And ready to be gone,
Armor on armor shone,
Drum unto drum did groan,

To hear was wonder;
That with the cries they make
The very earth did shake,
Trumpet to trumpet spake,

Thunder to thunder.

Well it thine age became,
O noble Erpingham,
Thou did'st the signal frame

Unto the forces;
When from a meadow by,
Like a storm suddenly,
The English archery

Stuck the French horses.

The Spanish yew so strong,
Arrows a cloth-yard long,
That like to serpents stong,

Piercing the wether;
None from his death now starts,
But playing manly parts,
And like true English hearts

Stuck close together.

When down their bows they threw,
And forth their bilbows drew,
And on the French they flew:

No man was tardy;

Arms from the shoulders sent, Scalps to the teeth were rent, Down the French peasants went,

These were men hardy.

When now that noble king,
His broad sword brandishing,
Into the host did fling,

As to o'erwhelm it;
Who many a deep wound lent,
His arms with blood besprent,
And many a cruel dent

Bruised his helmet.

Gloster, that duke so good,
Next of the royal blood,
For famous England stood,

With his brave brother,
Clarence, in steel most bright,
That yet a maiden knight,
Yet in this furious fight

Scarce such another.

Warwick in blood did wade,
Oxford the foes invade,
And cruel slaughter made,

Still as they ran up;
Suffolk his axe did ply,
Beaumont and Willoughby
Bear them right doughtily,

Ferrers and Fanhope.

On happy Crispin day
Fought was this noble fray,
Which fame did not delay

To England to carry ;
O when shall Englishmen,
With such acts fill a pen?
Or England breed again

Such a King Harry?

SEVENTEENTH CENTURY SONGS

Job Donne

1573-1631

AN ELEGY UPON THE DEATH OF THE LADY

MARKHAM

(First published 1633)

Man is the world, and death the ocean
To which God gives the lower parts of man.
This sea environs all, and though as yet
God hath set marks and bounds 'twixt us and it,
Yet doth it roar and gnaw, and still pretend
To break our bank, whene'er it takes a friend :
Then our land-waters (tears of passion) vent;
Our waters then above our firmament-
Tears, which our soul doth for her sin let fall,-
Take all a brackish taste, and funeral.
And even those tears, which should wash sin, are

sin.
We, after God, new drown our world again.
Nothing but man of all envenom'd things,
Doth work upon itself with inborn stings.
Tears are false spectacles; we cannot see
Through passion's mist, what we are, or what she.
In her this sea of death hath made no breach;
But as the tide doth wash the shining beach,
And leaves embroider'd works upon the sand,
So is her flesh refin’d by Death's cold hand.

As men of China, after an age's stay,
Do take up porcelain, where they buried clay,
So at this grave, her limbec (which refines
The diamonds, rubies, sapphires, pearls and

mines,
Of which this flesh was) her soul shall inspire
Flesh of such stuff, as God, when His last fire
Annuls this world, to recompense it, shall
Make and name them th' elixir of this all.
They say the sea, when th' earth it gains, loseth

too; If carnal Death, the younger brother, do Usurp the body; our soul, which subject is To th’ elder Death by sin, is free by this; They perish both, when they attempt the just; For graves our trophies are, and both Death's

dust. So, unobnoxious now, she hath buried both; For none to death sins, that to sin is loath, Nor do they die, which are not loath to die; So she hath this and that virginity. Grace was in her extremely diligent, That kept her from sin, yet made her repent. Of what small spots pure white complains!

Alas! How little poison cracks a crystal glass ! She sinn'd, but just enough to let us see That God's word must be true,-all sinners be. So much did zeal her conscience rarify, That extreme truth lack'd little of a lie, Making omissions acts; laying the touch Of sin on things, that sometimes may be such. As Moses' cherubims, whose natures do Surpass all speed, by him are winged too, So would her soul, already in heaven, seem then To climb by tears the common stairs of men. How fit she was for God, I am content

To speak, that Death his vain haste may repent;
How fit for us, how even and how sweet,
How good in all her titles, and how meet
To have reform’d this forward heresy,
That women can no parts of friendship be;
How moral, how divine, shall not be told,
Lest they, that hear her virtues, think her old:
And lest we take Death's part, and make him glad
Of such a prey, and to his triumphs add.

A VALEDICTION FORBIDDING MOURNING

(Sometimes called “ Upon Parting from his Mistris,

written, 1612?)

As virtuous men pass mildly away,

And whisper to their souls to go, Whilst some of their sad friends do say,

“Now his breath goes, and some say, 'No;' So let us melt, and make no noise,

No tear-floods, nor sigh-tempests move; 'Twere profanation of our joys,

To tell the laity our love.
Moving of th' earth brings harm and fears,

Men reckon what it did, and meant;
But trepidations of the spheres,

Though greater far, are innocent. Dull sublunary Lovers' love,

(Whose soul is sense) cannot admit Absence; for that it doth remove

Those things which elemented it. But we, by a love so far refin'd

That ourselves know not what it is, Inter-assured of the mind

Careless eyes, lips, and hands, to miss.

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