On The Death Of Mrs. Elizabeth Filmer. An Elegiacall Epitaph
Poem by Richard Lovelace
You that shall live awhile, before
Old time tyrs, and is no more:
When that this ambitious stone
Stoopes low as what it tramples on:
Know that in that age, when sinne
Gave the world law, and governd Queene,
A virgin liv'd, that still put on
White thoughts, though out of fashion:
That trac't the stars, 'spite of report,
And durst be good, though chidden for't:
Of such a soule that infant Heav'n
Repented what it thus had giv'n:
For finding equall happy man,
Th' impatient pow'rs snatch it agen.
Thus, chaste as th' ayre whither shee's fled,
She, making her celestiall bed
In her warme alablaster, lay
As cold is in this house of clay:
Nor were the rooms unfit to feast
Or circumscribe this angel-guest;
The radiant gemme was brightly set
In as divine a carkanet;
Of which the clearer was not knowne,
Her minde or her complexion.
Such an everlasting grace,
Such a beatifick face,
Incloysters here this narrow floore,
That possest all hearts before.
Blest and bewayl'd in death and birth!
The smiles and teares of heav'n and earth!
Virgins at each step are afeard,
Filmer is shot by which they steer'd,
Their star extinct, their beauty dead,
That the yong world to honour led;
But see! the rapid spheres stand still,
And tune themselves unto her will.
Thus, although this marble must,
As all things, crumble into dust,
And though you finde this faire-built tombe
Ashes, as what lyes in its wombe:
Yet her saint-like name shall shine
A living glory to this shrine,
And her eternall fame be read,
When all but VERY VERTUE'S DEAD.
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