An Epitaph on S [alathiel] P [avy], a child
of Q
[ueen] El [izabeth's] Chapel

by Ben Jonson

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 Parc 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.

statue of a boy
Statue of a boy playing a flute.
Vatican Museums. ©1999 A. Jokinen.

Source:
Poetry of the English Renaissance 1509-1660.
J. William Hebel and Hoyt H. Hudson, eds.
New York: F. S. Crofts & Co., 1941. 499.


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Copyright © 1996-1999 Anniina Jokinen. All Rights Reserved. Violators will be prosecuted.
Created by Anniina Jokinen on September 4, 1999.