1810 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Gervase Markham

Joseph Haslewood, "Marie Magdalens Lamentations" British Bibliographer 1 (1810) 381-82.



Marie Magdalens Lamentations for the Losse of her Master Jesus. Disce mori mundo vivere disce Deo. London, printed by Adam Islip for Edward White, and are to be sold at his shop, dwelling at the little North dore of Paules, at the signe of the Gun. 1601. qto. 27 leaves.

From the continuity of subject, similarity of title, and numbers, and being published in the following year, there is strong reason to presume this is the second part announced in the address noticed in preceding article ["Teares of the Beloved: or the Lamentation of Saint John"]. Against this internal evidence may be urged the want of Markham's initials, difference in the printer, and that it is not inserted in Ritson's list. The Preface to Marie Magdalens Lamentations, is in verse, and the author, descanting upon the subject of his work through four pages, forbears to speak in the first person, except a slight notice in the last stanza, which neither supports nor confutes the above suggestion.

If you will deigne with favour to peruse
Maries memoriall of her sad lament,
Exciting COLLIN in his graver Muse,
To tell the manner of her hearts repent:
My gaine is great, my guerdon granted is,
Let Marie's plaints plead pardon for amisse.

The Lamentations are seven in number, from subjects at the tomb of our Saviour, and the conclusion, when he met them, saying "All Haile"

Oh mild Physician, how well didst thou know
Thy corrosive so sharp did greeve my wound,
Which did by ignorance, not errour grow,
Therefore no sooner felt, but helpe was found:
Thy linative appli'de, did ease my paine,
For though thou did forbid, twas no restraine.

And now to shew that thy deniall late,
Was but a cheeke to my unsetled faith,
And no rejecting of my fault with hate;
Thou letst me wash thy feet in my teare bath:
I kisse them too, the seales of our redemption,
My love renewed with endlesse consolation.

Thus hast thou Lord full finished my teares,
Assured my hopes, contented my desire,
Repai'd my loves, extirped quite my feares,
Perfected joies with all that heart requires:
And made the period of expiring greefes,
The preamble to ever fresh releefes.

How merciful a father art thou Lord,
To poore forsaken Orphans in distresse,
How soft a iudge, that judgement doth afford
With mildest grace, to sinners comfortlesse?
How sure a friend unto a syncere lover,
Whose pure and faithfull love doth alter never?

Thou then that art with diligence prepar'd,
Going with speed, standing with hopes lift hie,
Humbling thy heart, thy haughtie will impar'd,
If thou with Marie none but Christ would see,
Himselfe will to thy teares an answere give,
And his owne words assure thee he doth live:

That sweetly he, unto thee being showne,
To others thou maist run, and make him knowne.