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How should we know thy foul had been fecur'd
In honeft counfels, and in ways unbase,
Hadft thou not ftood to fhew us what thou wert,
By thy affliction that descry'd thy heart ?

It is not but the tempeft that doth fhew
The fea-man's cunning: but the field that tries
The captain's courage: and we come to know
Beft what men are, in their worst jeopardies:
For lo, how many have we feen to grow
To high renown from lowest miferies,
Out of the hands of death; and many a one

To have been undone, had they not been undone !

He that endures for what his confcience knows
Not to be ill, doth from a patience high
Look only on the cause whereto he owes
Thofe fufferings, not on his mifery:

The more he endures, the more his glory grows,
Which never grows from imbecillity:
Only the best compos'd and worthieft hearts
God fets to act the hardest and conftant'ft parts.

Upon the death of the most noble lord,

HENRY, EARL OF SOUTHAMPTON, Written by Sir JOHN BEAUMONT, Bart. 1624: Printed by his Son in 1629.


HEN now the life of great SOUTHAMPTON ends,
His fainting fervants and astonish'd friends

Stand like fo many weeping marble stones,
No paffage left to utter fighs, or groans:
And must I first diffolve the bonds of grief,
And ftrain forth words, to give the reft relief?
I will be bold my trembling voice to try,
That his dear name may not in filence die.


The world muft pardon, if my fong be weak;
In fuch a cafe it is enough to fpeak.

My verses are not for the prefent age;

For what man lives, or breathes on England's stage,
That knew not brave SOUTHAMPTON, in whofe fight
Moft place their day, and in his abfence night?
I ftrive, that unborn children may conceive,

Of what a jewel angry fates bereave

This mournful kingdom; and, when heavy woes
Oppress their hearts, think ours as great as those.
In what estate shall I him first exprefs?
In youth, or age, in joy, or in distress?

When he was young, no ornament of youth
Was wanting in him, acting that in truth
Which Cyrus did in shadow; and to men
Appear'd like Peleus' fon from Chiron's den:
While through this island Fame his praise reports,
As beft in martial deeds, and courtly sports.
When riper age with winged feet repairs,
Grave care adorns his head with filver hairs;
His valiant fervour was not then decay'd,
But join'd with counfel, as a further aid.
Behold his conftant and undaunted eye,
In greatest danger, when condemn'd to die !
He fcorns the infulting adverfary's breath,
And will admit no fear, though near to death.
But when our gracious fovereign had regain'd
This light, with clouds obfcur'd, in walls detain'd;

And by his favour plac'd this star on high,

Fix'd in the Garter, England's azure sky;

He pride (which dimms fuch change) as much did hate,
As bafe dejection in his former ftate.

When he was call'd to fit, by Jove's command,
Among the demigods that rule this land,

No power, no ftrong perfuafion, could him draw
From that, which he conceiv'd as right and law.
When fhall we in this realm a father find

So truly fweet, or husband half so kind?


Thus he enjoy'd the beft contents of life,

Obedient children, and a loving wife.

Thefe were his parts in peace; but O, how far
This noble foul excell'd itself in war!
He was directed by a natural vein,
True honour by this painful way to gain.
Let Ireland witnefs, where he firft: appears,
And to the fight his warlike enfigns bears.
And thou, O Belgia, wert in hope to fee
The trophies of his conquefts wrought in thee;
But Death, who durft not meet him in the field,
In private by clofe treachery made him yield.-
I keep that glory laft, which is the beft;
The love of learning, which he oft exprest
By converfation, and respect to those
Who had a name in arts, in verfe or prose.
Shall ever I forget, with what delight,
He on my fimple lines would caft his fight?
His only memory my poor work adorns,
He is a father to my crown of thorns.
Now fince his death how can I ever look,
Without fome tears, upon that orphan book?
Ye facred Mufes, if ye will admit
My name into the roll which ye have writ
Of all your fervants, to my thoughts display
Some rich conceit, fome unfrequented way,
Which may hereafter to the world commend
A picture fit for this my noble friend:

For this is nothing, all thefe rhimes I fcorn;
Let pens be broken, and the paper torn;
And with his last breath let my mufick ceafe,
Unless my lowly poem could increase

In true defcription of immortal things;
And, rais'd above the earth with nimble wings,
Fly like an eagle from his funeral fire,
Admir'd by all, as all did him admire.


VEN as the fun with purple-colour'd face
Had ta'en his laft leave of the weeping morn,
Role-cheek'd Adonis2 hied him to the chafe;
Hunting he lov'd, but love he laugh'd to fcorn:
Sick-thoughted Venus makes amain unto him,
And like a bold-fac'd fuitor 'gins to woo him.


Our authour himself has told us that this poem was his first compofition. It was entered in the Stationers' books by Richard Field, on Harrifon, fen. on the the 18th of April, 1593; and again by 23d of June, 1594; in which year 1 fuppofe it to have been published, The earliest though I have not met with an edition of fo old a date. copy that I have feen, was printed by R. F. for John Harrifon, in fmall octavo, 1596, with which I have been furnished by the kindness of the rev. Mr. Warton. This poem is frequently alluded to by our authour's contemporaries. "As the foul of Euphorbus (fays Meres in his Wit's Treasury, 1598,) was thought to live in Pythagoras, fo the fweet, witty foul of Ovid lives in mellifluous and honey-tongued Shakspeare. Witnefs his Venus and Adonis, his Lucrece," &c.-In the early part of Shakspeare's life, his poems feem to have gained him more reputation than his plays;-at leaft they are oftener mentioned, or alluded to. Thus the authour of an old comedy called The Return from Parnaffus, written about the year 1602, in his review of the poets of the time, fays not a word of his dramatick compofitions, but allots him his portion of fame folely on account of the poems that he had produced. When the name of William Shakspeare is read, one of the characters pronounces this elogium:

"Who loves Adonis' love, or Lucrece' rape?

"His sweeter verfe contains heart-robbing life;
"Could but a graver fubject him content,

"Without love's foolish lazy languithment."

This fubject was probably fuggefted to Shakspeare either by Spenfer's defcription of the hangings in the Lady of Delight's Caftle, FAERY QUEEN. B. III. c. i. ft. 34, et feq. 4to, 1590, or by a short piece entitled The Sheepbeard's Song of Venus and Adonis, fubfcribed with the letters H. C. (probably Henry Conftable,) which, I believe, was written before Shakspeare's poem; though I have never feen any earlier copy of it than that which we find in England's Helicon, 1600. He had alfo without doubt read the account of Venus and Adonis in the tenth book of Ovid's Metamorphofes, tranflated by Golding, 1567, though he has chofen to deviate from the clatiical ftory, which Ovid and Spenfer had fet before him, following probably the model prefented to him by the english poem just mentioned. See the notes at the end. MALONE.


Thrice fairer than myfelf, (thus he began,)
The field's chief flower, fweet above compare,
Stain to all nymphs, more lovely than a man,
More white and red than doves or rofes are 3;

Nature that made thee, with herself at ftrife+,
Saith that the world hath ending with thy life 5.

Vouchfafe, thou wonder, to alight thy fteed,
And rein his proud head to the faddle-bow;
If thou wilt deign this favour, for thy meed
A thousand honey fecrets fhalt thou know:

Here come and fit, where never ferpent hiffes,
And being fet, I'll fmother thee with kiffes:

And yet not cloy thy lips with loath'd fatiety,
But rather familh them amid their plenty,
Making them red and pale with fresh variety;
Ten kiffes fhort as one, one long as twenty:

2 Rofe-cheek'd Adonis-] So, in Timon of Athens:
"bring down the rofe-cheek'd youth
"To the tub-faft and the diet."


A fum

Our authour perhaps remembered Marlowe's Hero and Leander:
"The men of wealthy Scitos every yeare,

"For his fake whom their goddess held fo deare,
"Rofe-cheek'd Adonis, kept a folemn feat," &c.


3 More white and red than doves or rojes are:] Thus the octavo, 1596. We might better read (as Dr. Farmer obferves to me):

-than doves and roles are.

I think it probable, however, that for this flight inaccuracy the authour, and not the printer, is anfwerable. MALONE.

4 Nature that made thee, with berjelf at ftrife,] With this conteft between art and nature, &c. I believe every reader will be furfeited before he has gone through the following poems. The lines under the print of Noah Bridges, engraved by Faithorne, have the fame thought: "Faithorne, with nature at a noble ftrife," &c.

It occurs likewife in Timon of Athens. STEEVENS.

We have in a fubfequent paffage a contest between art and nature, but here furely there is none. I must also observe that there is fcarcely a book of Shakspeare's age, whether in profe or verfe, in which this furfeiting comparifon (as it has been called,) may not be found. MALONE. 5 Saith that the world hath ending with try life.] So, in Romeo and Juliet: "And when he dies, with beauty dies her ftore." STEEVENS. And yet not cloy thy lips with loath'd fatiety,

But rather famifh them amid their plenty,]So, in Antony and Cleopatra:


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