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A funerall elegie upon the death of Henry, prince of Wales. 1613.

Thomas Heywood

Note on the e-text: this Renascence Editions text was transcribed in March 1999 by Risa S. Bear, University of Oregon Library, from the edition of 1613 (STC 13323). Content unique to this presentation is copyright © 1999 The University of Oregon. For nonprofit and educational uses only. Send comments and corrections to the Publisher



Vpon the death of the late most
hopefull and illustrious Prince,
H E N R Y,  Prince of Wales.

Written by T H O M A S   H E Y V V O O D.

Quid numeros as Annos? vixit maturior Annis:
Acta senem faciunt, hæc nemeranda tibi.



L O N D O N.
Printed for William Welbie, dwelling in Pauls Church-
yard, at the signe of the Swan. 1613.

To the right Honourable, Edward
Earle of Worcester, Lord of Chep-
Stoll, Ragland, and Gower, Knight of
The most Noble Order of the Garter,
Maister of the Horse, and one of the
Kings most honourable Priuy
C O V N C E L L.

AS to the most compassionate in this generall mourning (right Honourable) I dedicate this Funerall Elegy to your gracious protection: wishing with my soule, I might haue had a more pleasing subiect, both for my Pen, and your Patronage, but since the Heauens haue giuen us this cause it is a duty to entertaine the occasion, and an vnanswerable negligence to omit it; pitty it were that Pen should euer more cast inke, that would not make the whitest paper mourne in so vniuersall a sorrow: To whom then may I so aptly consecrate these Teares, as to your Honour? whose entire zeale to the Prince liuing (as I am confident) equal'd the Best so (I am no lesse assured) your sorrow for his death hath exceeded the most, and (if I may offencelesse speake it) contended with the greatest. Accept, I intreate your Honour, this my obliged duty to him, and euer acknowledged seruice to you; wishing all future occurences, to be true, and essentiall causes of your ioyes: and this last, the last of your Teares.
Your Honours most
Affectionately deuoted,
T H O M A S  H E Y VV O O D.



Hy should I vnto any priuate Peere,
Commend these sorrows for a Prince like deere?
To all sorts, Sexes, Titles, and estates.
Liues there a man, that when his friend relates
This Princes Fate, (Though he before were glad
With surplusage) when he but thinkes we had,
But haue him not, though he knowes hee's Diuine,
And cannot betterd be; his eyes droppe brine;
If I may (mongst these sad ones) then include
The Gentle, Base, the Polisht, and the Rude.
If from the Head to th'Heele, this Land complaine,
As well the learn'd Clarke, as the ignorant Swaine,
If neither Country, Citty, Campe, nor Courte
Hath scap't this deluge; but we may report
All drench't in't: euery man to haue wept his turne,
And still in heart (though not in habit) mourne.
To thee (ô Reader) whoso-ere thou be,
I dedicate this Funerall Elegie.
But thou that canst not read, canst then but heare?
If thy attention can but force one teare,
For that it is as welcome to thy hand,
As were those I loue, that vnderstand.

                                            Thine T. H.

A Funerall Elegie,
Of the late most High and Il-
lustrious Prince, HENRY,
Prince of Wales.


S all the land in sorrow and can I
Still silent be? when eury Muse exclames
On Time, on Death, and on sad Destiny?
For  H E N R I E S  losse, cursing the fatall Dames,
Mournes Christendome, and in a generall cry,
Vp-roares her griefes, whilst some weake Phisicke blames
    Accusing Galen of his want of skill
    That where he once can saue, doth oft-times kill.

Others on Soueraignty, that hath giuen power
To Princes, others forfet liues to saue,
Yet to their owne Times cannot adde an hower,
Or keepe their bodies from th'abortiue Graue.
Oh greedy Earth, whose hunger could deuoure
So choyce a gem! thou neuer leau'st to craue,
    More rauenous then the most raging fires,
    Earth still the more it eates, the more desires.

What Muse shall I inuoke? To whom commit
The guidance of my weake vnable braine?
Whose humble thoughts neuer aspired yet
A pitch so lofty, or so high a straine,
A subiect for my weakenesse farre vnfit,
As neuer hauing like cause to complaine.
    Was euer like to this? seene, heard, or read?
    Th'Hope of three Kingdoms (nay the World) is dead.

Whom shall I blame for this great Crosse of Crosses?
This present want, which Earth cannot supply?
To generall Europe, the great Losse of Losses.
Had we put all our sinnes to vsury,
Could they haue yeelded vs such Drosse of Drosses?
Had all the world deuis'd one Tragedy,
    And drawne the proiect from a thousand yeares,
    From the spectators could it draw more teares?

This Vniuerse imagine a Theatre,
Nations spectators, and this land a stage,
Was euer Actor, made by the Creator,
That better scan'd his part vnto his Age?
'Mongst all compos'd of fire, aire, earth and water,
So grauely yong, and so vnmellowed sage:
    Whose Trunke the Tombe exacts, as of a detter,
    Subiect or Prince, none euer acted better.

Nay who so well? yet as oft-times we see
(Presented in a lofty buskind stile)
Achilles fall, Thersites to scape free,
The eminent Hector on the dead-man's file
Numbred and rank't, when men more base than he
Suruiue the battell of lesse worth and stile.
    So thousands haue suruiu'd these mortall brals,
    Whil'st amongst millions standing, Henry fals.

Whom shall I blame for this? Iust heaven? oh no,
Starres are their eyes, and (with so many) seeing,
What cloud can hud-winke all? besides we know,
The Maker that gaue Them and Vs our being,
Whose out-stretcht hand steares all things here below
The imprisned soules from their base bondage freeing,
    Being all goodnesse, he can neuer erre:
    Then vnto whom shall we the blame transferre?

To Earth? we know she naturally breeds
Both Trees for vse, and Plants that onely spring
But neither beare nor build: both flowers & weeds,
Simples, hearbes, roots, and euery other thing,
For smell or pallat, that delights or feeds.
Should faire Pomona to Vertumnus bring
    Her choycest store, she could not deck her bower
    With such a sweet, faire, odoriferous flower.

Is not the Earth a mother? and could she
Contentedly part with her best-lou'd Sonne?
In whose creation Nature was so free,
That to compose him, she was halfe vndone
Her store she had so wasted: for, to be
As he was late, Ages must backward runne,
    And her great Ware-house, as in it first pride,
    With her first plenty must be new supply'd.

It was not Earth then sure: might it be Nature?
Would she her choycest worke-manship destroy?
Her best of fabrickes: both for beauty, stature,
And all perfections mankinde can enioy?
And in his growth, before he was full Mature,
Vnto her owne pride could she proue so coy,
    As to this height of spight to haue transcended,
    To spoyle so braue a worke ere 'twas full ended?

Vnlesse I could imagine one so fond
To build a gorgious pallace, but to race it:
A cunning painter that hath gone beyond
His skill, in a faire picture, to deface it
Before the world his cunning vnderstand.
For one to make a rich suit, and ere grace it
    Cut it to shreds. Imagine these to be,
    Else from his sad fate I must Nature free.

On whom shall I this blacke aspersion cast?
Vpon the Furies, Fiends, and Hagges below,
And say that Hell had hand in't at the last?
Although I hate Hell, I'le not iniur't so;
As stands Ione's Tree, whom lightning cannot blast,
So high, so broad, so greene, this plant did grow.
    As is the Lawrell from all Tempests free,
    So thousand Hels could haue no power o're Thee.

If neither Heauen, Earth, Nature, nor yet Hell,
Or would not, or else could not act thy ruine,
If none of these such sorrowes might compell,
Both to this present Age, and Times ensuing.
What was it then? or who? Muse canst thou tell?
Resolue the world, and to their generall viewing
    Present the cause why in his prime of yeares,
    So great a people should be washt in teares.

It was not Fate, his vertues and choyce graces
(Gifts both of Heauen and Nature) mixt with state,
Had in his bosome those such soueraigne places,
That he was arm'd against all power of Fate:
Nor Time, though he before him driues, and chaces
Minutes, dayes, months and yeares: till he call late
    Euery new season; to haue sau'd his Prime.
    From his own daies he would haue lent him time.

I may excuse Age, and extent of yeares:
For they (alacke the while) nere saw each other.
Oh had they met, we then had spar'd these teares,
And sau'd this griefe, which is too great to smother,
So milde, so graue, so reverent, Age appeares
He would haue ioy'd to imbrace him as a brother,
    As youth his hopes: he would haue striu'd to raise
    His fortunes, beeing cloath'd in ancient dayes.

The Muses and the Arts I can acquite:
For they are all too good to act such ill,
Preposterous 'twere to thinke them opposite
So farre to their owne life, as seeke to kill
Him through whose eies they did receiue their sight,
And to whose practise they confin'd their will:
    Whose actions were his deeds, in whom they saw
    All vertues grac'd with a Maiesticke awe.

Nor would the Muses haue giuen such occasion
Of their owne teares, which they so freely shed.
What purpose then? what motiue? what perswasion
Hath bene the cause that we lament him dead?
Or how came Death to make this proud inuasion,
And casket vp this gem in stone and lead?
    Himselfe could not, (for he was all perfection)
    Bring his faire body to this low deiection.

'Twas that which shattered Sylo, made the earth
Gape, and deuoure both Tribes and Tents:
That made the spheares showre fire, all Natures birth
Confin'd into one Arke: that all discents,
Degrees and Titles in one generall dearth,
Swept from th'earths face, that beyond all extents,
    Limits and bounds, incenst Ioues indignation,
    To drowne the world in a deep inundation.

What monster may we call this? Sinne: our sinne,
When one alone (and but one) that of pride,
Cast Angels bright gloryes in the Abisme to hide;
Since many millions we are wrapped in,
As vgly and as horrid: deepe sinnes dy'd
    In bloud, and death; no wonder if they pull
    This wrath on vs, to make our griefes more full.

They were our selues then, that our selues haue made
Thus haplessely distrest, thus inly sad.
Yet as we reade, to haue the rage allai'd
Of a deepe gulfe: the Romans notice had
From th'Oracle, thay breach could not be staid
Till Romes best Iewell stopt it. Curtius clad
    In his best Armes and mounted on his steed,
    To saue a People did a Torrent feede.

So since this best of Iewels England stor'd,
Hath stopt the gaping entrailes of the graue:
Let after ages of this Prince record,
Hee freely gaue a life, a land to saue
As gold the Misers God (by them ador'd)
Depends vpon the Sunne, from him to haue
    His purity of Temper, and as glasse,
    Showes th'vtmost vertue that the fire can passe.

By which they haue the pureness not to bee
Others then what they are, strange formes to take,
And loose their natiue esse: euen so Hee,
Being the perfect'st worke Nature could make,
Cannot conuert to Dust and Earth as We,
Or his first Beauty in the graue forsake.
    Since Nature in his birth to him hath done,
    More then to Glasse or Gold, the Fire or Sunne.

The more we ioy'd to see his vertues grow,
The greater are our sorrowes for his lacke;
Excesse of ioy begets excesse of woe,
Oft generall weale precedes a generall wracke.
Oh! why should our best pleasures perish so,
Like waters that passe by but ne're run backe?
    And yet to make vs euer thinke of Teares,
    Through the waues fleete, the Riuer still appeares.

I'le show the cause. Ioue seeing earthly Pleasure,
By Man so honoured that the Gods he hated
(Being ador'd by Mortals aboue measure)
Cal'd her to Heauen there to be new instated,
Shee straight disroabes her of all Earthly Treasure,
As all must needes do, that are so translated,
    Griefe banisht Earth, whilst Pleasure heere made stay,
    Finding her Habite steales it quite away.

And in that forged Roabe shee hath deluded
The world with fading ioyes and transitory:
For since shee first into that shape intruded
There was on Earth no true essentiall glory.
All constancy from Mankind is excluded,
Ioy hath no permanence: finde mee a story,
    That euer hath recorded Man so blest,
    But happied once, he hath bene twice distrest.

To tell his worth were but to add to sorrow,
Like him that being rob'd, still casts the summe:
The present fright so much from griefe doth borrow
That the instant feels not whence the passions come;
The extasy once past, when, on the morrow
The cause is weighed, the voyce no more is dumme:
    The eies that had their conduits stopt before,
    Now freely runne, and the hearts griefe deplore.

No Oracles were weightier then his words,
Those that should counsell him hee could aduise:
Art had in him her Mansion: Princes swords
Should defend Art, and Art make Princes wise.
They had ioyn'd league: his fluent braine affoords
A Library of Knowledge, and vnties
    The knotted'st soryte; faire Parnassus well,
The Muses did abandon, there to dwell.

As Mettals by the sound, so could he try
The flashy from the sollid when they spake:
Cleere was his iudgement, as his spirit was hye,
His smile was mercy, but his frowne did shake.
His aime was to know Art and Chiualry,
Save when to heauen he did his vowes betake.
He studied  Man: but to be better farre
Then man can be: He was halfe Loue, halfe Warre.

Hee was not swaide by Fauours, but Desart,
Merite, not Flattery still inioy'd his pay:
Hee would aduise before he spar'd his Heart,
But lending it, not easily tak't away.
Hee had that constant Vertue not to start,
Or let (in his designes) his iudgement stray.
    Those that were next him, and his Fauours wore
    May speake him better, not lament him more.

Before he grac't he would both proue and know,
He was not not idly lost, nor rashly wonne,
His maine was Vertue, none might neere him grow,
But such as truely knew to chuse or shunne
Good things and bad: to punish he was slow,
But apt to pardon: Hee was as the Sunne
    Amid the Planets, seeming so diuin'd,
    That all about, and neere him he out-shin'd.

Posterity, with greater admiration
Then I can blaze him, shall embrace his Fame,
Those deluges of Teares showr'd from this Nation;
Rather to blemish seeme, then blanch his name:
Since all our Elegies begot from passion,
Come from rent hearts, and those that griefe proclaime.
    Confused thoughts the best conceits destroy,
    And are more harsh then when we sing of ioy.

Being great in Name, his study did agree
To make Him great in Purpose: and his deeds
Answere his Stile: His Goodnesse was so free,
It wanted bound: one Royall action breeds
A second still; the end of one's to be,
The entrance to another that succeeds.
    Honour (the Manna of each generous Spirit)
    Was to him as the Crowne he was to inherit.

For well he knew if Fire it selfe should hide,
By his owne Smoake it would it selfe betray,
Or if that Water should it selfe diuide,
(As weary of the world) and steale away:
Yet by the Reeds plac'd by the Riuer side,
She might be train'd, and so be made to stay.
    But Honour fled, with it, it beares His tracke,
    No Time, no Age can stay or call him backe.

His Spirits were all actiue, made of fire,
Which (saue in trauell) can admit no rest.
High were his thoughts, yet still surmounting hy're,
His very Motiues Industry profest.
To be in Action was his sole desire,
And not to be so he did most detest.
    To end his Praise, and proue him past compare,
    To all his Fathers vertues he was heire.

He was but yesterday, and now is faded
Who when we held him deerest, was then lost:
So Lands that thinke them saf'st are oft inuaded,
And when they least feare, are afflicted most.
So the clear'st skies with blackest clouds are shaded,
So Pleasures (thought most certain) soon'st are crost.
    For 'tis a Maxime that shall euer stand:
    Pleasure and Sorrow still march hand in hand.

As Hector, had he suruiu'd Troy to see,
From Iliams lofty Tower his yong sonne cast:
Or such griefe Priam, as it was to thee
When worthy Hector, both the first and last
Of all Troyes hopes, sunke dead, me thinkes I see
In Royall  I A M E S,  thy sorrowes quite surpast,
    With double Anguish, trebole passions fired,
    When he first heard Prince Henry was expired.

And your Maisticke  ANNE;  when Hecub saw
Sweet Polymnestor, all the poore remaine
Of her braue Issue, beat by many a blaw,
And to the shore forc'd by the billowy Maine:
Methinks from her face I your griefe could draw.
And you Prince Charles, next of that royall straine;
    In yong Polytes I your teares can tell,
    That day in field his brother Troylus fell.

For you (most hopefull Princesse) I comprise
Your passions in a Dame though not so faire,
Yet as those Times afforded, beauteous, wise,
And with the best of that age might compare:
Your Teares I reade in bright Pollixen's eyes,
That sonne which shee beheld saw none so rare,
    Though you (but once) she (oft) had cause of woe,
    Her, as in beauty you in griefe out-goe.

But in this plangor, whom had I forgot,
You my Mecænas? oh it cannot be
That I am so ingrate; beloeue it not,
Though passion almost takes my sence from me:
Oh let me neuer weare so foule a spot,
As worthy Earle not to remember Thee.
    Thrice noble Worster gaue my Muse first wing,
    And from his bounty shee had voice to sing.

So should my bosome harbour something new,
Ingratitude, with me, no way agreeing:
Then should I not remember whence I grew,
Or from what power I first receiu'd my being:
To mine owne heart I should not then be true,
First hands forget your vse, my eyes their seeing:
    My tongue thy office, and my Muse her skill,
    That nere more inke drop from her ragged quill.

Pious Æneas still when I record,
(A man in whom all vertues were compleate)
When Priam's best of sonnes fell by the sword,
How he abandon'd rest, ioy, comforte, meate,
So oft haue I remembred you graue Lord,
Equall in vertues, and your griefe as great.
    All those glad hopes you from his life did borrow
    You in his death haue backe repai'd with sorrow.

Yet why sould you bewaile him since he's past
This Transitory raigne, for one ay-during,
To vex your selues would but his soule distast:
He hath but left a Crowne of earths assuring
For one immortall, that can neuer wast.
Subiect to Time nor Age: there's no alluring
    Of mortall pompe can counteruaile the least
    Of heauens pure blisse (so are there ioies increast).

Auerre we then (and without contradiction,)
The losse is ours, but his eternall gaine,
Tis his best good, all be it our affliction,
That such a generall sorrow we sustaine:
Death that hath giuen him this new iurisdiction,
Doubles his ioyes, as he augments our paine.
    Then as we lou'd him, let's reioyce in this,
    The greater was our losse, the more's his blisse.

Not for Him then, but for our selues lament:
He needs them not, tis we haue vse for teares,
He soiournes where can come no discontent,
Tis we that labour vnder sicknesse, yeares,
Heates, colds, Distemprature of Elements,
Dangers of body, and th'amaze of feares.
    From all mis-fortunes to the world decreed,
    (Of which we stand in doubt) hee's happy freed.

Not so for him then, but for our selues expend
Soorses of sad and direfull lamentation,
Who see our Griefes liue, and our Hopes haue end:
Since Death hath in one blow wounded a Nation,
Since Heauen no greater glories can extend
Then she enioyes, leauing vs nought but Passion,
    Since should Death breake his Dart, & ne're shoot more,
    He cannot cure the hurt he made before.

He that will act the wonders of his praise,
Shall finde the world a Theater too small.
Fame with her Trumpet shall his glories blaze;
Yet (ere to their full height) grow hoarse withall,
Whom who shall striue to imitate or raise
An equall Hope to his, needely must fall
    Prostrate, confounded with his owne ambition,
    So farre shall he precede him in condition.

Therefore what my Pen scans him in his merit,
With mine owne inward Passions Il'e supply.
More then an Earthly Prince, hee's now a Spirit,
Thron'd in a Kingdome, vnto which the Sky
Is but a Foot-pace, euer there to inherit,
Beyond all Time, to all eternity.
    Where I lament not Hee is Thron'd and plac't,
    I onely grieue that Hee hath made such haste.

                                        Thomas Heywood.

F I N I S.

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