An Elegie on the Death of my Loving Friend and Cousen, Master Richard Clerke
It was decreed by stedfast Destinie,
(The world from Chaos turn'd) that all should die.
Hee who durst fearelesse passe blacke Acheron
And dangers of the infernall Region,
Leading Hells triple Porter captivate,
Was overcome himselfe, by conquering Fate.
The Roman Tullie's pleasing Eloquence,
Which in the Eares did locke up every Seme
Of the rapt hearer, his mellifluous breath
Could not at all charme unremorselesse Death,
Nor Solon so by Greece admir'd, could save
Himselfe with all his Wisdome, from the Grave.
Sterne Fate brought Maro to his Funerall flame,
And would have ended in that fire his Fame ;
Burning those lofty Lines, which now shall be
Times conquerers, and out-last Eternity.
Even so lov'd Clerk from death no scape could find,
Though arm'd with great Alcides valiant mind.
He was adorn'd in yeeres though farre more young,
With learned Cicero's, or a sweeter Tongue.
And could dead Virgil heare his lofty straine,
He would condemne his owne to fire againe.
His youth a Solons wisdome did presage,
Had envious Time but given him Solons age.
Who would not therefore now, if Learnings friend,
Bewaile his fatall and untimely end :
Who hath such hard, such unrelenting Eyes,
As would not weep when so much Vertue dyes?
The God of Poets doth in darknesse shrowd
His glorious face, and weepes behind a Cloud.
The dolefull Muses thinking now to write
Sad Elegies, their teares confound their sight :
But him to Elysiums lasting Joyes they bring,
Where winged Angels his sad Requiems sing.