A FVNERALL Elegye Jn memory of the late Ʋertuous Maister William Peter of Whipton neere Excester.

By W.S.

Imprinted at London by G. Eld. 1612.

TO MAISTER Iohn Peter of Boohaye in Deuon. Esq.

THe loue I bore to your brother, and will doe to his me­mory, hath crau'd from me this last duty of a friend; I am heerein but a second to the priuiledge of Truth who can warrant more in his be­halfe, then I vndertooke to deli­uer. Exercise in this kind I will lit­tle affect, and am lesse adicted to, but there must be miracle in that labour, which to witnesse my re­membrance [Page] to this departed Gen­tleman, I would not willingly vn­dergoe: yet what-soeuer is heere done, is done to him, and to him onely. For whom, and whose sake, I will not forget to remem­ber any friendly respects to you, or to any of those that haue lou'd him for himselfe; and himselfe for his deserts.

W.S.

A Funerall Elegie.

SInce Time, and his predestinated end,
Abridg'd the circuit of his hope-full dayes;
Whiles both his Youth and Vertue did intend,
The good indeuor's, of deseruing praise:
What memorable monument can last,
Whereon to build his neuer blemisht name?
But his owne worth, wherein his life was grac't?
Sith as it euer hee maintain'd the same.
Obliuion in the darkest day to come,
When sinne shall tread on merit in the dust;
Cannot rase out the lamentable tombe
Of his Short-liu'd desert's: but still they must
Euen in the hearts and memories of men,
Claime fit Respect; that they, in euery lim,
Remembring what he was, with comfort then
May patterne out, One truly good by him.
For hee was truly good; if honest care,
Of harmlesse conuersation, may commend
A life free from such staines, as follyes are;
Ill recompenced onely in his end.
Nor can the toung of him who lou'd him least,
(If there can bee minority of loue,
To one superlatiue aboue the rest,
Of many men in steddy faith) reproue
His constant temper, in the equall weight
Of thankfulnesse, and kindnesse: Truth doth leaue
Sufficient proofe, he was in euery right,
As kinde to giue, as thankfull to receaue.
The curious eye, of a quick brain'd suruey,
Could scantly find a mote amidst the fun,
[Page]Of his too-shortned dayes: or make a prey
Of any faulty error he had done.
Not that he was aboue the spleenfull sence
And spight of mallice; but for that he had
Warrant enough in his owne innocence,
Against the sting of some in nature bad.
Yet who is hee so absolutely blest,
That liues incompast in a mortall frame?
Some-time in reputation not opprest?
By some in nothing famous but defame?
Such in the By-path and the Ridg-way lurke
That leades to ruine; in a smooth pretence
Of what they doe, to be a speciall worke,
Of singlenesse, not tending to offence.
Whose very vertues are not to detract,
Whiles hope remaines of gaine (base fee of slaues)
Despising chiefly, men in fortunes wrackt,
But death to such giues vnremembred graues.
Now therein liu'd he happy, if to bee
Free from detraction, happinesse it bee,
His yonger yeares, gaue comfortable hope
To hope for comfort, in his riper youth;
Which (haruest-like) did yeeld againe the crop
Of Education; betterd, in his truth:
Those noble twins of heauen infused races,
Learning and Wit, refined in their kind:
Did ioyntly both, in their peculiar graces,
Enrich the curious temple of his mind.
Indeed a temple, in whose precious white,
Sot Reason by Religion ouer swayd:
Teaching his other senses, with delight,
How Piety and Zeale should bee obey'd.
[Page]Not fruitlesly in prodigall expence,
Wasting his best of time: but so content
With Reasons golden Meane to make defence,
Against the assault of youth's incouragement:
As not the tide of this surrounding age,
(When now his Fathers death had freed his will)
Could make him subiect to the drunken rage,
Of such whose onely glory is their ill.
Hee from the happy knowledge of the wise,
Drawes vertue to reprooue secured fooles;
And shuns the glad sleights of insnaring vice,
To spend his spring of dayes in sacred schooles.
Heere gaue hee dyet to the sick desires,
That day by day, assault the weaker man;
And with fit moderation still retires,
From what doth batter Vertue now and than.
But that I not intend in full discourse,
To progresse out his life; I could display,
A Good man in each part exact; and force
The common voyce to warrant what I say.
For it his fate and heauen had decreed,
That full of dayes hee might haue liu'd to see
The graue in peace; the times that should succeed
Had been best-speaking witnesses with mee.
Whose conuersation so vntoucht, did moue
Respect most in it selfe, as who would scan
His Honesty and Worth, by them might prooue,
Hee was a kind, true, perfect, gentleman.
Not in the out-side of disgracefull folly
Courting Opinion, with vnfit disguise;
Affecting fashions; nor addicted wholy
To vnbeseeming blushlesse vanities:
[Page]"But suting so his habit and desire,
"As that his Vertue was his best Attire.
Not in the wast of many idle words
Car'd hee to be heard talke; nor in the flote
Of fond conceit (such as this age affordes)
By vaine discourse vpon himselfe to dote.
For his becomming silence, gaue such grace
To his iudicious parts; as what hee spake
Seem'd rather answers (which the wise imbrace)
Then busie questions, such as talkers make.
And though his qualities might well deserue
Iust commendation, yet his furnisht mind
Such harmony of goodnesse did preserue,
As Nature neuer built in better kind.
Knowing the best, and therefore not presuming
In knowing, but for that it was the best:
Euer within himselfe free choyce resuming
Of true perfection, in a perfect brest.
So that his Minde and Body made an In,
The one to lodge the other, both like fram'd
For faire conditions; guests that soonest win
Applause, in generality well-fam'd,
If trim behauiour, gestures mild, discreet
Endeuors; modest speech; beseeming mirth;
True friendship; actiue grace; perswasion sweete;
Delightfull loue, innated from his birth;
Acquaintance vnfamiliar; carriage iust;
Offencelesse resolution; wisht sobriety;
Cleane-temper'd Moderation; steddy Trust;
Vnburthen'd conscience; vnfain'd Piety;
If these, or all of these, knit fast in one
Can merit praise: then iustly may wee say,
[Page]Not any from this frailer stage is gon,
Whose name is like to liue a longer day.
Though not in eminent courts, or places great,
For popular concourse; yet in that soile
Where hee inioy'd his birth, life, death, and seat,
Which now sits mourning his vntimely spoile.
And as much glory is it to be good;
For priuate persons, in their priuate home;
As those descended from illustrious bloud,
In publick view of greatnesse: whence they come.
Though I rewarded with some sadder taste,
Of knowing shame; by feeling it haue prou'd
My countries thanklessse misconstruction; cast
Vpon my name and credit, both vnlou'd
By some, whose fortunes sunck into the wane
Of Plenty and Desert, haue stroue to win
Iustice by wrong; and sifted to imbane
My reputation, with a witlesse sinne,
Yet Time, the Father of vnblushing Truth,
May one day lay ope malice which hath crost it:
And right the hopes of my indangered youth,
Purchasing credit in the place I lost it.
Euen in which place, the subject of the verse
(Vnhappy matter of a mourning stile)
Which now that subjects merits doth rehearse,
Had education, and new beeing: while
By faire demeanor, he had wonne repute
Amongst the All of all that liued there:
For that his actions did so wholy sute
With worthynesse, still memorable here.
The many houres till the day of doome,
Will not consume his life and haplesse end:
[Page]For should he lye obscur'd without a toombe,
Time would to time his honesty commend.
Whiles Parents to their children will make known,
And they to their posterity impart,
How such a man was sadly ouerthrowne,
By a hand guided by a cruell heart.
"Whereof as many as shall heare that sadnesse,
"Wil blame ye or es hard fate, the others madnesse.
Whiles such as doe recount that tale of woe,
Told by remembrance of the wisest heades,
Will in the end conclude the matter so,
As they will all goe weeping to their bedds.
For when the world lies winterd in the stormes
Of fearefull consummation; and layes downe,
Th' vnsteddie change of his fantastick formes,
Expecting euer to be ouer-throwne:
When the proud height of much affected sinne
Shall ripen to a head, and in that pride,
End in the miseries it did begin,
And fall amidst the glory of his tide:
Then in a booke where euery worke is writ,
Shall this man's actions bee reueal'd; to shew
The gainfull fruit of well-imployed wit,
Which payed to heauen the debt that it did owe:
Heere shall be reckoned vp the constant faith,
Neuer vntrue, where once he loue profest;
Which is a miracle in men (one faith)
Long sought, though rarely found: and he is best
"who cā mak freindship, in those times of change,
"Admired more, for being firme then strange.
When those weake houses of our brittle flesh,
Shall ruin'd bee by death; our grace, and strength,
[Page]Youth, memory and shape, that made vs fresh,
Cast downe, and vtterly decay'd at length:
Whē all shall turne to dust from whence we came,
And we low leueld in a narrow graue,
What can we leaue behind vs but a name?
Which by a life well led may honour haue?
Such honor, ô thou youth vntimely lost,
Thou didst deserue and hast; for though thy soule
Hath tooke her flight to a diuiner coast,
Yet here on earth thy fame liues euer whole.
In euery heart seald vp, in euery toung
Fit matter to discourse; no day preuented,
That pitties not thy sad and suddaine wrong,
Of all alike beloued and lamented.
And I here to thy memorable worth,
In this last act of friendship, sacrifice
My loue to Thee; which I could not set forth
In any other habit of disguise.
Although I could not learne (whiles yet thou wert)
To speake the language of a seruile breath:
My truth stole from my toung into my hart,
Which shall not thence be sundred, but in death.
And I confesse my loue was too remisle,
That had not made thee know, how much I pris'd thee:
But that mine error was, as yet it is,
To thinke loue best in silence: for I siz'd thee
By what I would haue been; not onely ready
In telling I was thine; but beeing so,
By some effect to shew it: Hee is steddy
Who seems lesse then hee is, in open shew.
Since then I stil reseru'd to trye the worst,
Which hardest sate and time thus can lay on mee.
[Page]Tinlarge my thoughts, was hindered at first,
While thou hadst life: I tooke this taske vpon me,
To register with mine vnhappy Pen,
Such duties as it owes to thy desert;
And set thee as a President to Men,
And Limne thee to the world but as thou wert.
Not hir'd, as heauen can witnesse in my soule,
By vaine conceit, to please such ones as know it;
Nor seruile to be lik't; free from controule;
Which paine to many men I doe not owe it.
But here I trust, I haue discharged now
(Faire louely branch too soone cut off) to Thee,
My constant and irrefragable vow,
As had it chanc't thou might'st haue done to mee.
But that no merit strong enough of mine,
Had yeelded store to thy well-abled quill:
Whereby t'enrole my name, as this of thine,
How s'ere inritched by thy plenteous skil.
Heere then I offer vp to Memory,
The value of my tallent (precious man)
Whereby if thou liue to Posterity,
Though't be not as I would, tis as I can:
"In minds from whence endeauor doth proceed,
"A ready will is taken for the deed.
Yet ere I take my longest last farewell,
From thee, faire marke of sorrow; let me frame
Some ampler work of thanke, wherein to tel
What more thou didst deserue, then in thy name,
And free thee from the scandall of such senses,
As in the rancour of vnhappy spleene,
Measure thy course of life (with false pretences)
Comparing by thy death, what thou hast beene.
[Page]"So in his mischiefes is the world accurst,
"It picks out matter to informe the worst.
The wilfull blindnesse that hood-winkes the eyes
Of men in-wrapped in an earthy vayle,
Makes them most ignorantly exercise,
And yeeld to humor, when it doth assaile;
Whereby the candle, and the bodies light
Darken's the inward eye-sight of the mind:
Presuming still it sees, euen in the night
Of that same ignorance which makes them blind.
Hence conster they with corrupt Commentaries,
Proceeding from a nature as corrupt,
The text of malice; which so often varies,
As 'tis by seeming reason vnder-propt.
O! whether tends the lamentable spight
Of this worlds teen-full apprehension?
Which vnderstands all things amisse; whose light
Shines not amidst the darke of their dissention?
True 'tis, this man (whiles yet he was a man)
Sooth'd not the current of besotted fashion:
Nor could disgest as some loose Mimicks can,
An empty sound of ouer-weening passion:
So much to bee made seruant to the base,
And sensuall aptnesse of dis-vnion'd vices:
To purchase commendation by disgrace,
Whereto the world and heate of sinne intices.
But in a safer contemplation,
Secure in what he knew, he euer chose
The ready way to commendation,
By shunning all inuitemens strang, of those
Whose illnesse is the necessary praise,
Must waite vpon their actions: onely rare
[Page]In beeing rare in shame, which striues to raise
Their name by dooing what they do not care.
As if the free commission of their ill,
Were euen as boundlesse as their prompt desires:
Only like Lords, like subiects to their will,
Which their fond dotage euer-more admires.
Hee was not so; but in a serious awe,
Ruling the little ordered common-wealth,
Of his owne selfe with honour to the law,
That gaue peace to his bread, bread to his health.
Which euer hee maintaind in sweet content,
And pleasurable rest; wherein he ioyd
A Monarchy of comforts gouernment,
Neuer vntill his last to bee destroyd.
For in the Vineyard of heauen-fauoured learning,
(Where hee was double honor'd in degree)
His obseruation and discreet discerning,
Had taught him in both fortunes to bee free.
Whence now retir'd home; to a home indeed;
The home of his condition and estate;
Hee well prouided gainst the hand of need,
Whence yong-men some time grow vnfortunate.
His disposition, by the bonds of vnity,
So fastned to his reason; that it stroue,
With vnderstandings graue immunity,
To purchase from all hearts a steddy loue.
Wherein not any one thing comprehends,
Proportionable note of what hee was,
Then that hee was so constant to his friends,
As hee would no occasion ouer-passe,
Which might make knowne his vnaffected care,
In all respects of triall, to vnlock
[Page]His bosome and his store which did declare,
That Christ was his, and he was Frendships Rock:
A Rock of Frendship figured in his name,
Fore-shewing what he was, and what should be,
Most true presage, and he dischargd the same,
In euery act of perfect amitye:
Though in the complementall phrase of words,
He neuer was addicted to the vaine
Of boast, such as the common breath affoords,
He was in vse most fast in tongue most plaine,
Nor amongst all those virtues, that for euer,
Adorn'd his reputation, will be found
One greater then his Faith: which did perseuer,
Where once it was protested alway sound.
Hence sprung the deadly fuell that reuiu'd
The rage which wrought his end; for had he been
Slacker in loue, he had beene longer liu'd,
And not opprest by wraths vnhappy sinne.
By wrathes vnhappy sinne, which vnaduis'd
Gaue death for free good wil and wounds for loue
Pitty it was that blood had not beene pris'd
At higher rate, and reason set aboue
Most vniust choller, which vntimely Drew
Destruction on it selfe: and most vniunst,
Robd virtue of a follower so trew,
As time can boast of both for loue and trust,
"So henceforth all (great glory to his blood)
"Shall be but Seconds to him being good.
"The wicked end their honor with their sinne,
"In death, which only then the good begin.
Loe heere a lesson by experience taught,
For men whose pure simplicity hath drawne,
[Page]Their trust to bee betrayd by beeing caught
Within the snares of making truth a pawne.
Whiles it not doubting whereinto it enters,
Without true proofe and knowledge of a friend,
Sincere in singlenesse of heart, aduenters
To giue fit cause, ere loue begin, to end.
"His vnfain'd frienship where it least was sought,
"Him to a fatall time-lesse ruine brought.
Whereby the life that purity adorn'd
With reall merit, by this sudaine end,
Is in the mouth of some in manners scorn'd,
Made questionable, for they doe intend,
(According to the tenour of the Saw
Mistooke, if not obseru'd, writ long agoe)
When men were onely led by Reasons law,
That such as is the end, the life prooues so.
Thus Hee, who to the vniuersall lapse
Gaue sweete redemption, offring vp his bloud,
To conquer death by death; and loose the traps
Of Hell, euen in the triumph that it stood:
Hee thus, for that his guiltlesse life was spilt
By death, which was made subiect to the curse;
Might in like manner bee reprou'd of guilt,
In his pure life, for that his end was worse.
But ô farre bee it, our vnholy lips
Should so prophane the Deity aboue:
As theerby to ordaine reuenging whips,
Against the day of Iudgment and of Loue:
The hand that lends vs honour in our dayes,
May shorten when it please; and iustly take
Our honour from vs, many sundry wayes,
As best becomes that wisedome did vs make.
[Page]The second brother who was next begot,
Of all that euer were begotten yet;
Was by a hand in vengeance rude and hot,
Sent innocent to be in heauen set.
Whose fame the Angels in melodious quiers,
Still witnesse to the world; then why should hee,
Well-profited in excellent desires,
Bee more rebuk'd, who had like destiny?
Those Saints before the euer-lasting throne,
Who sit with crownes of glory on their heads,
Washt white in bloud, from earth hence haue not gone,
All to their ioyes, in quiet on their beds;
But tasted of the sower-bitter scourge,
Of torture and affliction, ere they gained,
Those blessings which their sufferance did vrge.
Whereby the grace fore-promis'd they attained.
Let then the false suggestions of the froward
Building large Castles in the empty ayre,
By suppositions fond and thoughts vntoward,
(Issues of discontent and sick despaire)
Rebound grosse arguments, vpon their heart;
That may disproue their malice: and confound
Vnciuill loose opinions, which insert
Their soules into the roule, that doth vnsound
Betraying pollicies: and shew their braines
Vnto their shame ridiculous: whose scope
Is enuie, whose indeuors fruitlesse paines,
In nothing surely prosperous, but hope.
And that same hope, so lame, so vnpreuailing,
It buries selfe conceit in weake opinion;
Which beeing crost, giues matter of bewayling
Their vain designes, on whom want hath dominiō.
[Page]Such, and of such condition may deuise,
Which way to wound with defamations spirit,
(Close lurking whispers hidden forgeries)
His taintlesse goodnesse, his desertfull merit.
But whiles the minds of men can iudge sincerely,
Vpon assured knowledge: his repute
And estimation, shall be rumor cleerly,
In equall worth, Time shall to time renew't.
The Graue, that in his euer empty wombe,
For euer closes vp the vnrespected,
Who when they dye, dye all; shall not intombe
His pleading best perfections as neglected.
They to his notice in succeeding yeeres▪
Shall speake for him, when Hee shall lye below;
When nothing but his memory appeares,
Of what hee was; then shall his vertues grow.
His beeing but a priuate man in ranke,
(And yet not rank't beneath a Gentleman)
Shall not abridge the commendable thanke,
Which wise posteritie shall giue him than:
For Nature, and his therein happy Fate,
Ordain'd that by his quality of minde,
Tennoble that best part, although his state
Were to a lower blessednesse confin'd,
Blood, pompe, state, honour, glory and command,
Without fit ornaments of disposition,
Are in themselues but heathnish and prophane,
And much more peacefull is a meane condition,
Which vnderneath the roofe of sa [...]e content,
Feeds on the bread of rest: and takes delight,
To looke vpon the labours it hath spent,
For it's owne sustenance, both day and night.
[Page]Whiles others plotting which way to bee great,
How to augment their portion and ambition,
Doe toile their giddie braines, and euer sweat,
For popular applause, and power's commission.
But one in honour's like a seeled Doue,
Whose inward eyes are dim'd with dignity;
Do's thinke most safety doth remaine aboue.
And seekes to be secure, by mounting high:
"Whence when he falz, who did ere while aspire,
"Fal's deeper downe, for that he climed higher.
Now men who in a lower region liue,
Exempt from danger of authority,
Haue fittest times in Reasons rules to thriue,
Not vext with enuy of prioritie.
"And those are much more noble in the mind,
"Then many that haue noblenesse by kind.
Birth, blood, and ancesters, are none of ours,
Nor can we make a proper challenge to them:
But vertues and perfections in our powers,
Proceed most truly from vs, if we doe them.
Respectiue titles or a gracious stile,
With all what men in eminence possesse,
Are, without ornaments to praise them, vile:
The beauty of the mind, is noblenesse.
And such as haue that beauty, well deserue
Eternall characters, that after death
Remembrance of their worth, we may preserue,
So that their glory die not with their breath.
Else what availes it in a goodly strife,
Vpon this face of earth heere to contend,
The goood t'exceed the wicked in their life,
Should both be like obscured in their end?
[Page]Vntill which end, there is none rightly can
Bee termed happy, since the happinesse
Depends vpon the goodnesse of the man,
Which afterwards his praises will expresse.
Looke hither then, you that inioy the youth
Of your best dayes; and see how vnexpected
Death can betray your iollity to ruth?
When death you thinke is least to be respected?
The person of this modell here set out,
Had all that youth & happy dayes could giue him:
Yet could not all encompasse him about,
Against th' assault of death, who to relieue him
Strooke home but to the fraile and mortall parts,
Of his humanity: but could not touch
His flourishing and faire long-liu'd deserts,
Aboue fates reach, his singlenesse was such.
So that he dyes but once, but doubly liues,
Once in his proper selfe, then in his name:
Predestinated Time, who all depriues,
Could neuer yet depriue him of the same.
And had the Genius which attended on him,
Beene possibilited to keepe him safe,
Against the rigour that hath ouer-gone him,
He had beene to the publick vse a staffe:
Leading by his example in the path,
Which guides to doing well, wherein so few
The pronesse of this age, to error hath
Informed rightly in the courses trew.
As then the losse of one, whose inclination
Stroue to win loue in generall, is sad,
So specially his friends, in soft compassion
Do feele the greatest losse they could haue had.
[Page]Amongst them all she who those nine of yeares
Liu'd fellow to his counsailes, and his bed;
Hath the most share in losse: for I in hers,
Feele what distemperature this chance hath bred.
The chast imbracements of coniugall loue,
Who in a mutuall harmony consent;
Are so impatient of a strange remoue,
As meager Death it selfe seemes to lament.
And weep vpon those cheeks, which nature fram'd
To be delightfull orbes, in whom the force
Of liuely sweetnesse playes, so that asham'd
Death often pitties his vnkind diuorce.
Such was the separation here constraind,
(Well-worthy to be termed a rudenesse rather)
For in his life his loue was so vnfain'd,
As hee was both an husband and a father.
The one in firme affection, and the other
In carefull prouidence, which euer stroue
With ioynt assistance to grace one another,
With euery helpfull furtherance of loue.
But since the summe of all that can be said
Can bee but said that Hee was good: which wholy
Includes all excellence can be displaide,
In praise of Vertue and reproach of Folly:
His due deserts, this sentence on him giues,
Hee dy'de in life, yet in his death hee liues:
Now run's the method of this dolefull song,
In accents breefe to thee, O thou deceast!
To whom those paines do onely all belong,
As witnesles I did not loue thee least.
For could my worthlesse braine find out but how,
To raise thee from the Sepulcher of dust;
[Page]Vndoubtedly thou shouldst haue partage now,
Of life with mee; and heauen bee counted iust:
If to a supplicating soule, it would
Giue life a new, by giuing life againe
Where life is mist: whereby discomfort should
Right his old griefes, and former ioyes retaine.
Which now with thee are leapt into thy toombe,
And buried in that hollow vault of woe:
Expecting yet a more seuerer doome,
Then times strickt slinty hand will let 'm know.
And now if I leuel'd mine account,
And reckon'd vp in a true measured score,
Those perfect graces which were euer wont
To wait on thee aliue, I aske no more.
But shall heereafter in a poore content,
Immure those imputations I sustaine,
Learning my dayes of youth so to preuent,
As not to be cast downe by them againe:
Only those hopes, which fate denies to grant,
In full possession to a captiue hart:
Who if it were in plenty, still would want,
Before it may inioy his better part:
From which detain'd, and banisht in th' exile
Of dimme misfortune, ha's none other prop,
Whereon to leane and rest it selfe the while,
But the weake comfort of the haplesse Hope.
And Hope must in despight of fearfull change,
Play in the strongest closet of my brest:
Although perhaps I ignorantly range,
And court opinion in my deep'st vnrest.
But whether doth the streame of my mischance
Driue me beyond my selfe: fast friend, soone lost,
[Page]Long may thy worthinesse thy name aduance,
Amongst the vertuous, and deseruing most.
Who herein hast for euer happy prou'd,
In life thou liu'dst, in death thou dyed'st belou'd.
FINIS.

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