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autograph manuscript by Sackville

On Sir Philip and Sir Thomas Hobby.*


Two woorthie knightes, and Hobbyes both by name,
Inclosed within this marble stone do rest;
Phillippe, the first, in Cæsars coort hath fame,
Such as to fore few legates like possest.
A diepe discoursinge head, a noble breast,
A courtier passing, and a courteis knight,
Zelous to God, whos gospell he profest
When greatest stormes gan dym the sacred lyght.
     A happie man, whom Death hath now redemed
     From care to ioy that can not be esteamed.

Thomas in Fraunce possest the legate's place,
And with such wisdome grew to guide the same,
As had encreast great honnor to his race,
If sodden fate had not envyed his fame.
Firme in God's trueth, gentell, a faithfull frend,
Well learned and languaged: nature, beside,
Gaue comelie shape, which made vnfull his ende,
Sence in his floure in Paris towne he dyed:
     Leauinge with childe behind his wofull wife,
     In foren land, opprest with heapes of griefe.

From part of which when she discharged was
By fall of teares, that faithfull wiefes doo sheade,
The corps with honor brought she to this place,
Performinge ther all dew vnto the dead.
That done, this noble tombe she causd to make,
And both thes brethren closed within the same,
A memorie leaft here for vertues sake,
In spite of death, to honnor them with fame:
     Thus liue they dead, and we learne well therby.
     That ye, and we, and all the worlde most die.

T.B.



* These verses were originally inscribed on the Hoby monument in the parish church of All Saints Bisham, in Berkshire, c.1567. They were discovered, in autograph manuscript, by J. P. Collier in 1848, and printed in The Shakespeare Society's Papers, v. 4. (1849). The MS was subsequently not seen again until it turned up in a Bonhams auction lot in 2004. It now resides at Oxford, as Bodleian MS Eng. c. 7065, f. 124r. For a discussion of this MS, see Jessica L. Malay, "Thomas Sackville's Elegy to Thomas and Philip Hoby: The Discovery of a Draft Manuscript", Notes & Queries, December 2009, 513-15.





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