1629 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Sir John Beaumont

Michael Drayton, "To the deare Remembrance of his noble Friend, Sir John Beaumont, Baronet" Beaumont, Bosworth-field (1629) sig. a2-a2v.



This Posthumous, from the brave Parents Name,
Likely to be the heire of so much Fame,
Can have at all not portion by my prayse:
Onely this poore Branch of my with'ring Bayes
I offer to it; and am very glad,
I yet have this; which if I better had,
My Love should build an Altar, and thereon
Should offer up such Wreaths as long agone,
Those daring Grecians, and proud Romans crownd;
Giving that honour to their most Renown'd.

But that brave World is past, and we are light,
After those glorious dayes, into the night
Of these base times, which not one Heroe have,
Onely an empty Title, which the grave
Shall soone devoure; whence it no more shall sound,
Which never got up higher then the ground.

Thy care for that which was not worth thy breath,
Brought on too soone thy much-lamented death.
But Heav'n was kind, and would not let thee see
The Plagues that must upon this Nation be,
By whom the Muses have neglected bin,
Which shall adde weight and measure to their sinne;
And bane already had this curse from us,
That in their pride they should grow barbarous.

There is no splendor, that our Pens can give
By our most labor'd lines, can make thee live
Like to thine owne, which able is to raise
So lasting pillars to prop up thy prayse,
As time shall hardly shake, untill it shall
Ruine those things, that with it selfe must fall.