On The Yong Baronett Portman Dying Of An Impostume In's Head - Poem by William Strode
Is Death so cunning now that all her blowe
Aymes at the heade? Doth now her wary Bowe
Make surer worke than heertofore? The steele
Slew warlike heroes onely in the heele.
New found out slights, when men themselves begin
To be theyr proper Fates by new found sinne.
Tis cowardize to make a wound so sure;
No Art in killing where no Art can cure.
Was it for hate of learning that she smote
This upper shoppe where all the Muses wrought?
Learning shall crosse her drift, and duly trie
All wayes and meanes of immortalitie.
Because her heade was crusht, doth shee desire
Our equall shame? In vayne she doth aspire.
No: noe: Wee know where ere shee make a breach
Her poysened Sting onely the Heele can reach.
Looke on the Soule of man, the very Heart;
The Head itselfe is but a lower parte:
Yet hath shee straynde her utmost tyranny,
And done her worst in that she came so high.
Had she reservde this stroke for haughty men,
For politique Contrivers; justly then
The Punishment were matcht with the offence:
But when Humility and Innocence
So indiscreetly in the Heade are hitt,
Death hath done Murther, and shall die for itt:
Thinke it no Favour showne because the Braine
Is voyde of sence, and therefore free from payne.
Thinke it noe kindness when so stealingly
He rather seemde to jest away than die,
And like that Innocent, the Widdows childe
Cryde out, My head, my head: and so it dyde.
Thinke it was rather double cruelty,
Slaughter intended on his Name, that Hee
Whose thoughts were nothing taynted, nothing vayne,
Might seeme to hide Corruption in his brayne.
How easy might this Blott bee wipte away
If any Pen his worth could open lay?
For which those Harlott-prayses, which wee reare
In common dust, as much too slender are
As great for others. Boasting Elegies
Must here bee dumbe. Desert that overweighs
All our Reward stoppes all our Prayse: lest wee
Might seeme to give alike to Them and Thee:
Wherfore an humble Verse, and such a strayne
As mine will hide the truth while others fayne.
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