Henry King

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

AN ELEGY Upon S. W. R.


I will not weep, for 'twere as great a sin
To shed a tear for thee, as to have bin
An Actor in thy death. Thy life and age
Was but a various Scene on fortunes Stage,
With whom thou tugg'st & strov'st ev'n out of breath
In thy long toil: nere master'd till thy death;
And then despight of trains and cruell wit,
Thou did'st at once subdue malice and it.
I dare not then so blast thy memory
As say I do lament or pity thee.
Were I to choose a subject to bestow
My pity on, he should be one as low
In spirit as desert. That durst not dy
But rather were content by slavery
To purchase life: or I would pity those
Thy most industrious and friendly foes:
Who when they thought to make thee scandals story
Lent thee a swifter flight to Heav'n and glory.
That thought by cutting off some wither'd dayes,
(Which thou could'st spare them) to eclipse thy praise;
Yet gave it brighter foil, made thy ag'd fame
Appear more white and fair, then foul their shame:
And did promote an Execution
Which (but for them) Nature and Age had done.
Such worthless things as these were onely born
To live on Pities almes (too mean for scorn.)
Thou dy'dst an envious wonder, whose high fate
The world must still admire, scarce imitate.

Submitted: Tuesday, April 20, 2010

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