An Elegie upon the most lamented death of the Right Honourable and truly valiant, ROBERT Earle of Essex, &c.

I Thanke thee, Griefe, that thou hast found a voice:
Some thinke there runs no streame, where's heard no noise;
And yet Ile beare thee witnesse, when there stood
No water in thine Eye, thy Heart wept Blood;
So may the stealing Brooke mourne under ground,
When on the surface, nought but Flint is found.
Advance my Teares then, and your Office bee
To bring the Reare up of this Obsequie.
A Reare of Mourners, which shall reach from hence
To Doomes-day, mourning not for Forme, but Sense.
We now but see the Pompe; but after times
Shall make us feele our Losse, due to our-Crimes;
VVhen Monarchy shall-faint, and Faction thrive,
How shall we then wish Devereux alive?
VVhen there is none to dry up Widdowes Teares;
None to Repulse our Jealousies and Feares:
When Justice selfe shall want an Advocate,
And truth in coward silence read her Fate;
When those daies come, (O never come those Daies;
Never to us!) that he shall weare the Bayes,
And be accounted valiant, who shall dare
To whisper Truth, though onely to the Aire:
When the meane Feet shall trample ore the Head;
How shall we then feele Devereux is dead?
Devereux, the Nobles Orbe, the Gentries Starr,
The Cities Altar, the wrong'd Countries Barr:
Devereux, the Just, Devereux, the Stout, the Wise,
The maimed Souldiers Limbes, the Blind mans Eyes.
The Armies faithfull Alm'ner; or what's more
Devereux, the very Devereux of their Poore;
Yet he, this Cedar's fall'n: or rather, is
Transplanted, for to grow in Paradise.
How the Ghosts throng to see their great new Ghuest;
Talbot, Vere, Norris, Williams, and the rest,
[Page] Those valiant Shades, England's best Sonnes! each one
Courting Him to then Bowers; (Bowers, whereof none
But was of conquering Laurell) there to heare
A storie, which would force from Ghosts a Teare.
(Their Mothers Tragedy) as 'twas acted late
By her owne Children, to make sport for Fate;
For they had seen the Stygian Boats e'vn sinke,
Laden with Soules up to the very brinke;
Had known their Charon tugg and sweat, and say;
England did find him most work and best pay.
He (the new Ghuest) who (since he did afford
To hold in peace the Scales, in War the Sword,
Could therefore give best Judgment: the pure stampe
How things'ith Senate pass'd, how in the Camp:)
Dissects the Body politique, and with weight
Laies ope the Griefes and Maladies of State.
Shewes how those hands that held the Scales were numb,
And how that Tongue which should preach Peace was dumb;
The Feet (saith He) went staggering, and 'tis sed,
Some Clouds and Vapours did possesse the Head,
Whose little singer, had the poyson mov'd,
Heavier then all his Fathers Loynes had prov'd;
The Eyes grew dim and darkish, whiles the Eare
Deafe to sage Counsell, yet strange Tales could heare;
And the whole Frame did so with Feaver burne,
Feaver might serve for Piles to fill the Urne;
And England mouldring thus through Feaverish Ire,
Save Heaven the labour of a Doomes-day Fire.
All now was turning into Ashes: so
Consuming Flames Incendiaries blow.
Hence Englands best Physitians judg'd it need
(To save the Body) that some veines should bleed;
Surgeons from all parts come to work the Cure
(She now was patient and must all endure.)
Leeches and Emp'ricks (Colledge fulls) all came,
To cure? no, but to practise on their Dame.
And thus they let her bleed too much: so they
Can gaine, no matter though she bloodlesse lay.
Yet some there came, Artists, and honest too;
Men that without a plot their work would do:
[Page] Men, that to stop her blood, their own did give,
And paid their Deathlesse Lives to make her live.
So sharp a Pill is War, that some have thought.
Even Health it selfe, at this price, too deare bought;
Physick on a Swords point can seldome please,
Men count such Remedies worse then the Disease.
And thus as he was blazning States, and Men,
Persons, and Things, the Cause; why? how? and when?
Still passing ore Himselfe, as if he were,
Though others Trumpet, His own Silencer:
Still his own Mute, whilst yet he Trumpets forth
Great Warwicks, and Northumberlands great Worth.
VVith other Heroes plac'd in high Command,
Neptunes at Sea, and Marses on the Land;
But who was He, cry'd some, (not but they knew:
But that they long'd to heare those gests anew
Which they so dearly lov'd) who's he that fought
So much for Peace 'bove Victory? that thought
The bloodlesse Bayes the best? He that aim'd moe
To save one Citizen, then kill many a Foe?
He that knew how to value Lives? the Man,
So much good Souldier, and good Christian;
That kill'd and sigh'd, mourn'd as he Trophies wore,
Mingling his own Teares with his Enemies gore?
As if his Grand Commission did not give
Him power to kill and slay, but kill and grieve.
And yet agen, that most undaunted Hee,
(When th'Armies were to joyne, to disagree)
VVho speech'd his Souldiers first with Voyce and Drum,
Then Caesar-like bad them, not go, but come?
He, who Himselfe an Army was alone!
He, who was then most Generall, when yet none?
And had whole Legions ever at his need,
Legions of Souldiers not to Fight, but Feed:
Yea but who's He, cry'd one among the throng.
That with so few men rais'd a Siege so strong?
That made Retreat from twice his odds, the while,
As he Retreated, fighting, threescore mile?
And this, not through fenc'd Lanes, and in thick nights,
The Downes and Midday Sun saw all his fights.
[Page] An honour, we could envy, could this place
(Loves Throne) admit a wrinckled Heart or Face.
VVith that, some Cavalier Ghosts (for there come
Of them to rest here in Elysium)
The Learned Faulkland, and Carnarvan stout,
Fierce Lindsey, (Spartan shades, above the Rout;)
Such as had paid him Homage with their Blood,
And fallen his Sacrifices, when he stood
Pointed at our deare losse, and faid; all this,
And more is Devereux; this, and more is His;
Which made him blush; His pale Ghost blush'd; and then
He look'd, as if he had been alive agen.
But when such prayses even from Enemies come,
It were a sin in us, should we stand dumbe?
And is't not pitty so Fam'd worth should dye
Without an Heire? No Sonne to close his Eye?
No Child to weare his vertue with his Name?
None to inherit his well-gotten Fame?
But as great' Paminondas answered those
His Friends, that mourn'd his Fall, (mourn'd by his Foes)
'Cause he fell Childlesse; as if Greece were done
Since so much vertue dyed without a Sonne:
But yet (saith He) still beare it in your mind,
I've left two Daughters with you here behind,
Leuctra and Mantinea; who shall keep
Their Fathers Name from Death, and Thebes from sleep;
So when our Devereux, (Devereux, a word
Great as that Greek's, and keener then his Sword:
A Name that fils the Mouth, and wounds the Eare:
A Name that Machiavell would be pleas'd to heare.
He, who admires the Pagans large-siz'd Name
'Bove Christians; as if words could create Fame.)
So when our Devereux is bemoan'd in Death,
As one that leaves no Sonne to breath his Breath,
Answer is made, He leaves two Daughters faire,
Reading and Glocester, Daughters such as are
Sans parallell; and which will cost the State
Millions to match them with an equall Mate.
Or should this Issue faile, yet how can He
Want Sonnes and Heires, who's Pater Patriae.
C. G.

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