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Henry King

(16 January 1592 – 30 September 1669 / Worminghall, Buckinghamshire)

AN ELEGY Occasioned by the losse of the most incomparable Lady Stanhope, daughter to the Earl of Northumberland


Lightned by that dimme Torch our sorrow bears
We sadly trace thy Coffin with our tears;
And though the Ceremonious Rites are past
Since thy fair body into earth was cast;
Though all thy Hatchments into ragges are torne,
Thy Funerall Robes and Ornaments outworn;
We still thy mourners without Shew or Art,
With solemn Blacks hung round about our heart,
Thus constantly the Obsequies renew
Which to thy precious memory are due.
Yet think not that we rudely would invade
The dark recess of thine untroubled shade,
Or give disturbance to that happy peace
Which thou enjoy'st at full since thy release;
Much less in sullen murmurs do complain
Of His decree who took thee back again,
And did e're Fame had spread thy vertues light,
Eclipse and fold thee up in endless night.
This like an act of envy not of grief
Might doubt thy bliss, and shake our own belief,
Whose studi'd wishes no proportion bear
With joyes which crown thee now in glories sphere.
Know then blest Soul! we for our selves not thee
Seal our woes dictate by this Elegie:
Wherein our tears united in one streame
Shall to succeeding times convey this theme,
Worth all mens pity who discern how rare
Such early growths of fame and goodness are.
Of these part must thy sexes loss bewail
Maim'd in her noblest Patterns through thy fail;
For 'twould require a double term of life
To match thee as a daughter or a wife:
Both which Northumberlands dear loss improve
And make his sorrow equal to his love.
The rest fall for our selves, who cast behind
Cannot yet reach the Peace which thou dost find;
But slowly follow thee in that dull stage
Which most untimely poasted hence thy age.
Thus like religious Pilgrims who designe
A short salute to their beloved Shrine,
Most sad and humble Votaries we come
To offer up our sighs upon thy Tomb,
And wet thy Marble with our dropping eyes
Which till the spring which feeds their current dries
Resolve each falling night and rising day
This mournfull homage at thy Grave to pay.

Submitted: Tuesday, April 20, 2010

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