1629 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Sir John Beaumont

Thomas Neville, "An Elegy to the living Memory of his deceased Friend, Sir John Beaumont, Baronet" Beaumont, Bosworth-field (1629) sig. A4-A4v.



To tell the World what it hath lost in thee,
Were but in vaine; for such as cannot see,
Would not be griev'd to heare, the morning light
Should never more succeed the gloomy night.
Such onely whom thy Vertue made, or found
Worthy to know thee, can receive this wound:
Of these each man will duly pay his teares
To thy great Memory, and when he heares
One fam'd for Vertue, he will say, So blest,
So good his Beaumont was, and weepe the rest.
If Knowledge shall be mention'd, or the Arts,
Soone will he reckon up thy better parts:
At naming of the Muses, he will streight
Tell of thy Workes, where sharpe and high conceit,
Cloath'd in sweet Verse, give thee immortall Fame,
Whil'st Ignorance doth scorne a Poet's Name:
And then shall his imagination strive,
To keep thy gratefull Memory alive,
By Poems of his owne; for that might bee,
Had he not Muse by force of knowing thee.
This maketh me (who in the Muses Quire
Sing but a Meane) thus boldly to aspire,
To pay sad duties to thy honour'd Herse,
With my unpolish'd lines, and ruder Verse.
Yet dreame I not of raysing amongst men
A lasting fame to thee by my fraile Pen:
But rather hope, something may live of me,
(Perhaps this Paper) having mention'd thee.