English poetry

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On The Death Of Ladie Caesar

Though Death to good men be the greatest boone,
I dare not think this Lady dyde so soone.
She should have livde for others: Poor mens want
Should make her stande, though she herselfe should faynt.
What though her vertuous deeds did make her seeme
Of equall age with old Methusalem?
Shee should have livde the more, and ere she fell
Have stretcht her little Span unto an Ell.
May wee not thinke her in a sleep or sowne,
Or that shee only tries her bedde of grounde?
Besides the life of Fame, is shee all deade?
As deade as Vertue, which together fledde:
As dead as men without it: and as cold
As Charity, that long ago grewe old.
Those eyes of pearle are under marble sett,
And now the Grave is made the Cabinett.
Tenne or an hundred doe not loose by this,
But all mankinde doth an Example misse.
A little earth cast upp betweene her sight
And us eclypseth all the world with night.
What ere Disease, to flatter greedy Death,
Hath stopt the organ of such harmlesse breath,
May it bee knowne by a more hatefull name
Then now the Plague: and for to quell the same
May all Physitians have an honest will:
May Pothecaries learne the Doctors skill:
May wandring Mountebanks, and which is worse
May an old womans medicine have the force
To vanquish it, and make it often flie,
Till Destiny on’s servant learne to die.
May death itselfe, and all its Armory
Bee overmatcht with one poore Recipe.
What need I curse it? for, ere Death will kill
Another such, so farre estrang’d from ill,
So fayre, so kinde, so wisely temperate,
Time will cutt off the very life of Fate.
To make a perfect Lady was espyde
No want in her of anything but Pride:
And as for wantonnesse, her modesty
Was still as coole as now her ashes bee.
Seldome hath any Daughter lesse than her
Favourde the stampe of Eve her grandmother.
Her soule was like her body; both so cleare
As that a brighter eye than mans must peere
To finde a Blott; nor can wee yet suspect
But only by her Death the least defect:
And were not that the wages due to Sinne
Wee might beleeve that spotlesse she had bin.

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Poem On The Death Of Ladie Caesar - William Strode