¶ AN EPITAPH VP­on the decease of the worshipfull Lady Mary Ramsey, late wife vnto Sir Thomas Ramsey Knight, some­time Lord Maior and Alderman of the Honorable Cittie of London. Wherevnto is annexed certaine short Epigrams, touching the mortalitie of man. Published by the consent of the Executors.

Written by N. B.

Beati omnes, qui moriuntur in Domino.

Thrice happy they, and of all other blest,
Whose dayes well spent, the Lord cals vnto rest.

LONDON Printed by R. R. dwelling in Fleet-lane. 1602.

The Author to the Booke.

GOe little Booke, I leaue thee now, vnto the Readers view,
Since there is nought in thee containd, but what is inst & true,
And though thy volume little be, or substance verie small,
Desire that my goodwill may make contentment to them all.
Firstwish them read, and afterward giue censure as they should,
For why thy Author would haue writ farre better if he could:
What he hath done, is for to please, if so it may content:
And to that end amongst them all, the little Booke hath sent.
Farewell therefore, speake faire, and say, if ought he haue offended,
He would be glad by warning giuen, to haue the same amended.
N. B.

The Bookes aunswer.

VVHat as of right I ought to do, performed that shalbe,
And therefore gentle Readers all, that me shall ouersee,
I doe beseech you earnestlie, my Maister to excuse,
And pardon his inuention rude, his meeters and his Muse:
For I dare vndertake for him, that thankfull he will rest,
If of your kindly courtesie he may be full possest.

An Epitaphe vpon the decease of the Worshipfull Lady MARIE RAMSEY.

COme Gentils all, lend me your listning eares,
Attentiue, to the sequele of my verse,
Which mournfullike vnto the cause appeares,
That at this time I purpose to rehearse.
The tenor tends vnto her sweete decease,
Whom while she liu'd, God blessed with increase.
Whom while she liu'd, (see heere a Looking Glasse)
Spending her dayes with credit and with fame:
Spending her time most godly as it was,
Vnto the praise of her continuall name.
Vnto her praise that to the day of doome,
From age, to age, for euermore shall ronne.
Dame Ramsey, she it is that I do meane,
A Lady rare, most vertuous, meeke, and milde:
Whose harmelesse life, whose conscience pure and cleane,
Showed forth her fruits both vnto man and childe.
Whose liberall hand was neuer frozen fast,
From Alines-deeds, so long as breath did last.
Witnesses be, the bounties of her minde,
In Christ his Church, and Hospitall like case:
[Page] Where her good workes regestred you may finde,
To all mens sights, that do frequent the place.
To all mens sights, which there may take the view▪
Not so much rare as altogether true.
First for reliefe of childien very poore,
Orphins, and such as deepely be distrest:
She hath ripte vp the bountie of her store,
By whose good meanes those infants they be blest,
Succorde, and well defended as they ought,
Thus much for them sweet Ramsey she hath wrough▪
Sufficiently for Schollers twelue like case,
In Oxford six, in Cambridgesix likewise:
She hath set downe to euery one their place,
As they proceede in study to arise.
Not for a month, a yeere, but still for aye,
For to indure vntill the latter day.
Maintenance great for Preachers next to this,
Gods holy word to stablish and increase:
She ordered hath, as right well knowne it is,
Vntill the worlde and age of man shall cease:
That truth thereby might England ouer-spred,
And at no time in blindnesse to be led.
Fiftly, her care and prouidence hath beene,
A Writing Schoole erected for to see:
And there vnto hath plentious larges giuen,
That Schollers might therein well nurtered be▪
And for to learne Gods word and perfect ground,
That they in time true subjects may be found.
People distrest and Souldiers wounded sore,
To them she hath applyed her watchfull eye:
That they might be well heald for euermore,
And not for want of succor for to dye:
A gratious deede, a deede deseruing fame,
A deede that winnes deepe credit for the same.
For maintenaunce of poore other Souldiers tenne,
Likewise she hath her contribution made▪
And onely for a comfort vnto them,
Vnable for to liue by any trade:
Pittie in her had tane such setled roote,
That no good deede was left trodvnderfoote.
And this beside see for tenne widowes poore,
How she hath made prouision in like case:
Allowing them henceforth for euermore.
Meate drincke and cloth with the abyding place,
So that no want might nip them in the colde,
Nor winters force on them take any hold.
Poore maidens rights and marriages to mend,
Her liberall hand hath beene supporting still▪
In bountious sort their dowries to extend,
A signe of her vnfained great goodwill.
Wishing to them and others all before,
Partly alike the sweetnesse of her store.
To Bristow eke one thousand poundes she gaue,
Vnto the poore there dwelling in that place:
For maintenaunce and cloathing they should haue,
A louing gift to heale their wofull case;
[Page] To helpe their deepe and pouerished distresse,
Which helpe and gift makes not her praise the lesse.
To Th'ospitall of Christs Church thus much more,
Two thousand poundes in ready coyne she gaue:
To prisoners eke distrest, feeble, and poore,
Fiue hundred poundes she wilde that they should haue;
To companies of London eke beside,
One thousand poundes to them she hath relyde.
To parishes in Essex countie there,
One hundred poundes she rendered for their neede▪
Wherein her loue and bountie did appeare,
To satisfie and to content their neede.
Because that they each one in their degree,
Should not amisse but well considered be.
Vnto her kinne as she thought good therefore,
Two hundred pounds to some she seemd to yeeld▪
To other some one hundered and no more,
To others eke fifty as she them wilde:
To others lesse according to that rate,
As she thought good to measure their estate.
What else of goods, of moueables, or lands,
That vnbequeath'd remainderlike remaine:
Vnto the poore by her excecutors hands,
She wisht and wilde should be bestowed againe:
Let all therefore that heare what she hath done,
Thinke fewe or none such like there are to come.
Other good deedes a number to recite,
[Page] Which tedious were, I pretermit therefore:
Whereby she hath lent to the world a light,
To looke into the blessing of their store:
And to doe good before their latter dayes.
Which works with hers shall bring them endles praise
But now note here, how that her life was spent,
First voted to serue God both day and houre:
Holding herselfe most happily content,
With all good gifts proceeding from his power:
And at the last extinct of vitall breath,
With patient minde to conquer fearefull death.
Wherefore no doubt her portion is inlarg'd,
Her talent well redoubled ore againe.
Her dutie done, her conscience well discharg'd,
Her death a life which euer shall remaine:
Her mortall state immortall to be seene,
Her Glorious ioyes most florishing fresh and greene.
Ossa iacent tumulo, mentis monumenta supersunt,
Optima pars superest: Noniacet haec tumulo.
Vita per acta pie, mortem est sortita beatam,
Exijt ad certum men s reditura diem.
O foelix nimium quae sic sua saecla peregit,
Ter foelix cui dij dant ita posse mori.

A sufficient defence and reasonable excuse concerning the mischaunce that hapned at Leaden Hall after the funerall of the worshipfull Lady Mary Ramsey so solemnized.

VVHo can withstand mishaps, that daylie seeme to fall?
Or be against that God doth send? Not any man at all.
Things inexpected chaunce, and chaunces they haue change:
And sudden miseuents doe grow, like wonders very strange.
But whatsoeuer haps, Thereto I doe reply:
It falleth out but for our sinnes, A scourge from God on hye.
Then let vs not impute, or conster things amisse:
But thinke (I say) and deeme no more, but iustlie as it is.
The goodwill of the dead, that gaue this bounteous doale.
Bequeathed it vnto the helpe of manie a Christians Soule,
Bequeathed it for good, of widowes in distresse,
The halte, the blinde, the sicklie man, the poore and fatherlesse.
The executers eke, performed but the will:
Of that sweete Lady dead and gone, and for no further ill,
And as for those that were, in that case put in trust,
To deale the doale it was their minde, to deale it well and iust:
If then [...]srulie folke, would not well gouernd be,
The fault was theirs and no mans else, that could not this foresee,
Let vs not censure then, to talke that is not true:
But iudge and say in euery poynt, as I haue said to you,
And let the fault rest there, by whome the fault befell,
And iudging so you iudge but right, and censure very well:
For they that headlong runne, and will not be fore warnd,
Their headlesse care was that default, which made them to beharmd,
Examples there haue beene, like vnto this before,
[...] let mischaunce excuse mishap: what can be spoken more.

In obitum Dominae Mariae Ramsei Ni▪ Boormanni Longaeuum et vltimum vale.

SWeete Ramsey, now
my last farewel I take,
Though simple be my verse:
or mournefull rime,
For what I writ before,
was for thy sake.
So farforth as I respit had by time,
And more then that, the minde I bare to thee,
Was that thou shouldst not cleane forgotten be.
But had I writ or spoake few words or none,
Deserued deedes would haue obtain'd their hire:
And therefore though thy earthly corps be gone,
I trust thy soule doth to the heauens aspire,
Where resting thou shalt euermore remaine,
Amongst Gods flocke in Glory for to raigne.
Where earthly change shall reape eternall blis,
Where downefall of thy mortall state or stay:
Shall ioy enioy that neuer vading is,
Where thou shalt liue for euer and for aye.
Vnto which place although thy dayes be done,
I pray that all thy good friends they may come.
And thus in briefe I giue thee leaue to sleepe,
While I take leaue for writing as before:
Yet for thy sake reserued thoughts Ile keepe,
Within my hart to rest for euermote.
That when by chaunce I heare some speake of thee,
Though I speake least thou maist remembred be.
Nascimur è terra, adterr amque reuertimur omnes,
Terra sumus, nobis maxima terra parens,
Terra tegit quam terra tulit, suamembr a reposcit,
Quae dederat tellus, non aliena petit.
Chara vale, lux clara vale, tuasunera fleui,
Prae lachrymis nequeo scribere plura, vale.

Short Epigrams touching the mortallitie of man.

EArth of the earth, must to the earth,
from whence at first it came,
Such is the earthly naturall state,
of euery earthly man.


ADams earthly fall incurde,
displeasure to damnation:
But Christ his death subdued sinne,
to bring vs to saluation.
Dye then from Adam for to liue,
with God thy onely maker;
So shalt thou in the booke of life,
with him be full pertaker.


MAns earthly state is but a pompe,
which speedy time deuours
Compared to a winters blast,
which nips the fairest flowers.


NOthing at all can be so swift,
as swiftnesse of the time,
To day aliue, to morrow dead,
and couered in thy shrine.
Thinke then on earthly time that fleetes,
which no man once can stay▪
For I, and thou, thou, I, and he,
haue euery man his day.


TYdes haue their spaciat time, to ebbe,
to rise, and for to flow,
Yet neuer a swelling flood so hye,
but hath his fall as low.
Young springs resemble youthfulnesse,
the florishing time of man:
Which with the ebbe shall haue his fall,
let him do what he can.


THe sturdiest Oake of any Oake,
hath but his time to grow,
And yet at last in tract of time,
receiues his ouerthrow.
So, be a man, strong, tall, or stout,
his hold is most vnsure:
And cannot longer then his time,
By tract of time indure.


THe clockes do strike the houres tunne on,
the Sunne eclipsed stands:
Yet all, let vs be sure of this,
rests in our makers han des.
Conclude we then, our certaintie,
is brickell and vnsure▪
And by it selfe hath neither space,
nor warrant to indure.
And say we thus, to day a man,
and not a man to morrow,
For longer life then God doth lend,
neither King nor Lord can borrow.

The Lenuoy.

THe highest tree is seldome times most sure,
The swelling floods yeeld ebbes that drench ful low,
Nothing so firme that alwaies can indure,
The tydes through time weare out their times we know,
The Sunne eclips'd the Moone berest of light,
The day surpris'd, the night abandond quight.
Houres, dayes, and yeeres, runne out their course at last,
The candell bright hath his extinct in time▪
None can recall, swift time when time is past,
What bootes it then for worldly pompe to clime.
The watch forwarnes when as the clocke will strike,
The cock and clocke are watches both alike.
The fairest day assures his glowning houre,
The Sunshine bright is couered oft with shade
Mans haruest is compared to a flower,
That vnawares dothperish, waste, and vade,
And whose pride past beares but a withered hew,
And bendes and biddes the Gardner then adew.
Our life a lampe, that for a time burnes bright,
Our life a spanne when it is at the best:
Our life assur'd of neither day nor night,
our life a smoake and vnassured rest.
[Page] Our life, our state, our stay, and vitallbreath,
Subiect vnto the sudden call of death.
The youngest lambe goes with the eldest sheepe,
Which vnawares, the slaughterer takes from foalde:
Neither young, nor old, their dayes of reconing keepe,
How long to feede, or how soone to be sould.
Their haps do chaunce as do the gamsters play,
And so is ours that once must haue a day.
Who therefore reades this preamble set downe,
Let him bethinke what as the meaning is:
And make suppose that if the fates doe frowne,
Man is recalde soone from his earthly blis.
For health, and wealth, his glorie and his ease,
Are at commaund when as the Lord doth please.

This keyboarded and encoded edition of the work described above is co-owned by the institutions providing financial support to the Text Creation Partnership. This Phase I text is available for reuse, according to the terms of Creative Commons 0 1.0 Universal. The text can be copied, modified, distributed and performed, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission.