Ben Jonson

(11 June 1572 – 6 August 1637 / London / England)

Epitaph on S.P., a Child of Queen Elizabeth's Chapel


Weep with me, all you that read
   This little story;
And know for whom a tear you shed,
   Death's self is sorry.
'Twas a child that so did thrive
   In grace and feature,
As Heaven and Nature seemed to strive
   Which owned the creature.
Years he numbered scarce thirteen
   When Fates turned cruel,
Yet three filled zodiacs had he been
   The stage's jewel;
And did act (what now we moan)
   Old men so duly,
As, sooth, the Parcae thought him one,
   He played so truly.
So, by error, to his fate
   They all consented;
But viewing him since (alas, too late),
   They have repented,
And have sought (to give new birth)
   In baths to steep him;
But, being so much too good for earth,
   Heaven vows to keep him.

Submitted: Friday, April 09, 2010

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