1641 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Thomas Beedome

Thomas Nabbes, Elegie, on his ingenious Friend, the deserving Author, Master Thomas Beedome" Beedome, Poems (1641) sigs B2-B3.



How silent are the groves? No aire doth move,
To make the boughs each other kisse in love,
Nor doe the leaves (as they had jealous feares)
Whisper into each others joying eares.
Upon the branches perch no airie quires,
Whose untaught musicke art it selfe admires,
And by an imitation of those notes,
Strain'd from the slender Organes of their throats,
Adds to it selfe perfection, and thereby,
Shewes natur's weake to artfull industry.
The listning heard their quicke sense doe apply,
Not to the wonted use of eare or eye;
As when harmonious ecchoes doe invite
Attention both to wonder and delight.
All creatures have their active motion left,
As if an apoplexie had bereft
Their Limbes of use, and time meant to conclude,
His being in a general solitude,
Such great effects great causes cannot misse,
And both are equall, both alike in this.
Not Winters Isie hand (the chilly birth,
Of bleake North-winds) have gray'd the verdant earth,
Or shorne the trees crownes making them look old,
Nor are the tunefull birds grown hoarse with cold.
But Beedome losse hath worne on their consent,
To share a voluntary punishment;
The Aire in boistrous gusts the stout Oke bends,
And his large spreading armes from th' body rends,
That groane for Beedome as they fall away,
Who in his barke carv'd many a learned lay,
The birds are voicelesse 'cause they cannot heare
The wonted musicke of his well-tun'd spheare.
Whence they derive our skill knowing nature can
Lesse wonder shew in them, then Art in man,
For him sense-grieved beasts, sad mourners be,
By an instinct or hidden Sympathie.
And had all-changing time heard Beedome sing,
He would have knowne no season but the Spring,
Nor would he have suffered death to be,
Judge in the cause of his mortalitie.
But have repriev'd his lov'd parts from the Bar,
Till by translation they were made a Star.
Muses unite your teares, now he is gone,
With them creating a new Helicon.
Whose streames may the defect of yours supply,
Which Beedome whilst he liv'd, dranke almost dry:
And by the power of his own active fire,
Sublime'd to that your selves may well admire,
Which to his vertue joyn'd conclude him thus,
Still living through them, both to heaven and us.