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ON THE MEMORY OF MR. EDWARD KING, DROWNED IN THE IRISH SEAS, by             Poem Explanation     Poet Analysis     Poet's Biography
First Line: I like not tears in tune, nor will I prize
Last Line: We floating islands, living hebrides.
Subject(s): Drowning; King, Edward (1612-1637)

I Like not tears in tune, nor will I prize
His artificial grief that scans his eyes,
Mine weep down pious beads, but why should I
Confine them to the Muses Rosary?
I am no Poet here; my pen 's the spout,
Where the rain water of my eyes run out,
In pity of that name, whose fate wee see
Thus copied out in griefs Hydrography:
The Muses are not Mer-maids, though upon
His death the Ocean might turn Helicon
The sea's too rough for verse; who rhimes upon't
With Xerxes strives to fetter th' Hellespont.
My tears will keep no channel, know no laws
To guide their streams; but like the waves their cause
Run with disturbance, till they swallow me
As a description of his misery.
But can his spacious virtue finde a grave
Within th' imposthum'd bubble of a wave?
Whose learning if we sound, we must confesse
The sea but shallow, and him bottomlesse.
Could not the winds to countermand thy death
With their whole card of lungs redeem thy breath?
Or some new Island in thy rescue peep
To heave thy resurrection from the deep?
That so the world might see thy safety wrought,
With no lesse miracle than thy self was thought.
The famous Stagarite, who in his life
Had nature as familiar as his wife,
Bequeath'd his widow to survive with thee,
Queen Dowager of all Philosophy:
An ominous legacy that did portend
Thy fate and Predecessors second end!
Some have affirm'd, that what on earth we find,
The Sea can parallel for shape and kind:
Books, arts and tongues were wanting, but in thee
Neptune hath got an University.
We'll dive no more for pearl. The hope to see
Thy sacred reliques of mortality
Shall welcome storms, and make the sea-man prize
His shipwrack now, more than his merchandize.
He shall embrace the waves, and to thy tombe
(As to a Royaller Exchange) shall come.
What can we now expect? Water and Fire
Both elements our ruine do conspire:
And that dissolves us which doth us compound.
One Vatican was burnt, another drown'd.
We of the Gown our Libraries must tosse
To understand the greatnesse of our losse,
Be Pupils to our grief, and so much grow
In learning as our sorrows overflow.
When we have fill'd the rundlets of our eyes,
We'll issue 't forth, and vent such elegies,
As that our tears shall seem the Irish Seas
We floating Islands, living Hebrides.

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