1629 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Sir John Beaumont

Francis Beaumont, "Upon the following Poems of my deare Father, Sir John Beaumont, Baronet, deceased" Beaumont, Bosworth-field (1629) sig. A8-A8v.



You, who prepare to reade grave Beaumonts Verse,
And at your entrance view my lowly straines,
Expect no flatt'ring prayses to reherse
The rare perfections, which this Booke containes.

But onely here in these few Lines, behold
The debt which I unto a Parent owe;
Who, though I cannot his true Worth unfold,
May yet at least a due affection show.

For should I strive to decke the Vertues high,
Which in these Poems (like faire Gemmes) appeare;
I might as well adde brightnesse to the skie,
Or with new splendour make the Sunne more cleare.

Since ev'ry Line is with such beauties grac'd,
That nothing farther can their prayses sound:
And that deare Name which on the Front is plac'd,
Declares what ornaments within are found.

That Name, I say, in whom the Muses meete,
And with such heate his Noble spirit raise,
That Kings admire his Verse, whil'st at his feete,
Orpheus his Harpe, and Phoebus casts his Bayes.

Whom, though fierce death hath taken from our sight;
And caus'd that curious Hand to write no more;
Yet marvell not if from the fun'rall Rites
Proceed these branches never seene before.

For from the Corne arise not fruitfull Eares,
Except at first the earth receive the same:
Nor those rich Odors which Arabia beares,
Send forth sweet smells, unlesse consum'd with flame.

So from the ashes of this Phoenix flye
These off-springs, which with such fresh glory shine;
That whil'st time runneth, he shall never dye,
But still be honour'd in this famous Shrine:
To which, this Verse alone I humbly give;
He was before: but now begins to live.