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To carry and conduct the compliment
'Twixt death and life, where her mortality
Became her birth-day to eternity!
And now through circumfused light she looks,
On Nature's secret there, as her own books:
Speaks heaven's language, and discourseth free
To every order, every hierarchy!
Beholds her Maker, and in him doth see
What the beginnings of all beauties be ;
And all beatitudes that thence do flow :
Which they that have the crown are sure to know !

Go now, her happy parents, and be sad,
If you not understand what child you had.
If you dare grudge at heaven, and repent
T' have paid again a blessing was but lent,
And trusted so, as it deposited lay
At pleasure, to be call’d for every day!
If you can envy your own daughter's bliss,
And wish her state less happy than it is ;
If you can cast about your either eye,
And see all dead here, or about to die!
The stars, that are the jewels of the night,
And day, deceasing, with the prince of light,
The sun, great kings, and mightiest kingdoms fall;
Whole nations, nay, mankind! the world, with all
That ever had beginning there, t' have end!
With what injustice should one soul pretend
T'

escape this common known necessity ? most beautiful pieces, wrought by herself in needle-work, and presented to the University of Oxford, the one being the story of the Nativity, the other of the Passion of our Saviour.

“Blest mother of the church, he, in the list,
Reckon'd from hence the she-Evangelist;
Nor can the style be profanation, when
The needle may convert more than the pen ;
When faith may come by seeing, and each leaf,
Rightly perus'd, prove gospel to the deaf," &c.

Poems, p. 196.

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When we were all born, we began to die
And, but for that contention, and brave strife
The Christian hath t' enjoy the future life, 8
He were the wretched'st of the race of men :
But as he soars at that, he bruiseth then

2

6 Sir John Beaumont has also an elegy on the death of this lady, beginning with these lines :

“Can my poor lines no better office have,

But lie like scritch-owls still about the grave ?
When shall I take some pleasure for my pain,

Commending them that can commend again?” WHAL.
It
may

also be added that Eliot has an “ Elegy on the lady Jane Paulet, marchioness of Winchester," &c., in which he follows Milton, as to the immediate cause of her death. Though the poem, which is very long, is in John's best manner, I should not have mentioned it, had it not afforded me an opportunity of explaining a passage in Shakspeare which has sorely puzzled the commentators:

"Either says the gallant Henry V.)

Either our history shall, with full mouth,
Speak freely of our acts, or else, our grave,
Like Turkish mute, shall have a tongueless mouth,

Not worshipp'd with a waxen epitaph.” A. i. S. 2. Steevens says that the allusion is “ to the ancient custom of writing on waxen tablets,” and Malone proves, at the expense of two pages, that his friend has mistaken the poet's meaning, and that he himself is—just as wide of it.

In many parts of the continent, it is customary, upon the decease of an eminent person, for his friends to compose short laudatory poems, epitaphs, &c., and affix them to the herse, or grave, with pins, wax, paste, &c. Of this practice, which was once prevalent here also, I had collected many notices, which, when the circumstance was recalled to my mind by Eliot's verses, I tried in vain to recover : the fact, however, is certain.

In the bishop of Chichester’s verses to the memory of Dr. Donne, is this couplet :

" Each quill can drop his tributary verse,

And pin it, like a hatchment, to his herse.” Eliot's lines are these :

“Let others, then, sad Epitaphs invent,

And paste them up about thy monument;

The serpent's head ; gets above death and sin,
And, sure of heaven, rides triumphing in.

While my poor muse contents itself, that she
Vents sighs, not words, unto thy memory.”

Poems, P. 39. It is very probable that the beautiful Epitaph on the countess of Pembroke, was attached, with many others, to her herse. We know that she had no monument; and the verses seem to intimate that they were so applied:

“ Underneath this sable herse

Lies the subject of all verse,

Sidney's sister,” &c. To this practice Shakspeare alludes. He had, at first, written paper epitaph, which he judiciously changed to waxen, as less ambiguous, and altogether as familiar to his audience. Henry's meaning therefore is; "I will either have my full history recorded with glory, or lie in an undistinguished grave :--not merely without an inscription sculptured in stone, but unworshipped, (unhonoured,) even by a waxen epitaph, i. e. by the short-lived compliment of a paper fastened on it.”

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