1587 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Sir Philip Sidney

B. W. Esquire, "A Commemoration of the generall Mone, the honorable and solemne Funerall made for and of the most worthy Sir Phillip Sidney Knight" George Whetstone, Sir Phillip Sidney (1587) sigs. C3-C4.



When winters bitter blast, the trees began to bare,
Sweet Sydney slaine, downe fell our hope and paller of welfare:
He was the rising sunne that made all England glad,
He was the life, and light, of those that any vertues had.
He was the muses joy, he was Bellonas sheilde,
With in the Towne he was a Lambe, a Lion in the Feild:
His Life bewraed a love, that matched Curtius Zeale,
His Life, no Life, contempt of death, to serve the common weale.
No gift, nor grace, there was, but in his vertues shind,
His worth more worth than Flaunders wealth now by his losse we find:
For when his sacred soule, did forth his bodie flie,
Ten thousand shrikes persuade the same, unto the starry Skie,
The stowtest Souldier then shewed feminine dismay,
And with their teares, did wash his wound, that brought him to decay:
Some kist his breathlesse mouth, where wisdome flowed at will,
Some raysd his head, that lately was the treasurhowse of skill,
Where truth and cowrage liv'd his Noble hart some fealt,
Some layd their hands uppon his breast, where all the vertues dwelt,
Some eid his closed eyne, that watcht the poore-mans need,
And when they did unwrap his thygh, his wound did make them bleed.
O honer derely bought they crid, and monde this chaunce,
So shoke his hand, and sayd farewell, thow glory of the Launce:
Outcries soone spread his deth, the mone ranne faree and nere,
What was he then that mourned not, the dolefull newes to heare.
The King of Scots, bewrade his griefe in learned verse,
And many moe their passions pende, with praise to decke his hearsse.
The Flushingers made sute his breathles corps to have,
And offered a sumptuous Tombe the same for to engrave.
But oh his loving friendes, at their request did greive,
It was too much he lost his life, his Corse they would not leave:
And so from flushing porte, in shippe attyr'd with blacke,
They did imbark this perfect Knight, that onely breath did lack.
The winde and Seas did mourne, to see this heavie sight,
And into Thames did convey this much lamented Knight:
Unto the Minories, his bodie was conveyde,
And there under a martiall hearse, three Monthes, or more was staide.
But when the day was come, he to his grave must goe,
An host of heavy men repair'd, to see the sollome showe:
The poore whom he good Knight, did often clothe and feede,
In fresh remembraunce of their woe, went first in mourning weede.
His friends and servants said, was thought a heavy sight,
Who fixt their eyes upon the ground, which now much howse their Knight:
To here the drome and fife send forth a dolefull sound,
To see his coulers late advaunst, lie trayling on the ground.
Each ornament of war thus out of order borne,
Did pearce ten thousand harts with grief, which were not named to mourne:
Some markt the great dismay, that charg'd his martiall bande,
And how some horsemen walkt on foote, with battel-axe in hand.
And tould the mourning clockes his gentlemen did weare,
What Knights, and captaines, were in gownes and what the haralds beare.
Some markt his stately Horse, how they hong downe their head,
As if they mourned for their Knight that followed after dead.
But when his noble corps, in sollom wise past by,
Farewell the worthiest Knight, that liv'd, the multitude did crie:
Farewell that hon'rd arte, by lawrell and the Launce,
Farewell the friend (beloved) of all, that hadst no foe but chaunce.
His sollome funerall all beseeming his estate,
This by the Heraldes martialled, the more to mone his fate:
Three Earles and other Lords, the Hollands states in black:
With all their trayne then followed: and that no love might lack,
The Mayor and Aldermen in purple robes there mourn'd,
And last a band of Citizenes, with weapons awkeward tourn'd
In sollome wise did bring this Knight unto the grounde,
Who being their bestowed at rest their last adew to sownde.
Two volley of brave shot, they thundred in the skies,
And thus his funerall did ende with many weeping eies:
Upon whose Monument in letters writ with Gould,
This Epitaph deserves to be, for all men to behould.

OF THE MOST WORTHIE AND HARDY KNIGHT SIR PHILLIP SIDNEY THE EPITAPH.
Here underneath, lies Phillip Sydney Knight,
True to his prince, learned, staid and wise:
Who lost his life in honorable fight,
Who vanquisht death, in that he did despise:
To live in pompe, by others brought to passe,
Which oft he term'd a diomond set in brasse.