Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, TO THE MEMORY OF THAT MOST HONOURED LADY JANE, COUNTESS OF SHREWSBURY, by BEN JONSON



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TO THE MEMORY OF THAT MOST HONOURED LADY JANE, COUNTESS OF SHREWSBURY, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: I could begin with that grave form, 'here lies'
Last Line: This second marriage, will eternal make.


I could begin with that grave form, 'Here lies',
And pray thee, reader, bring thy weeping eyes
To see who it is. A noble countess, great,
In blood, in birth, by match, and by her seat;
Religious, wise, chaste, loving, gracious, good;
And number attributes unto a flood:
But every table in this church can say,
A list of epithets: and praise this way.
No stone in any wall here, but can tell
Such things of every body, and as well.
Nay, they will venture one's descent to hit,
And Christian name too, with a herald's wit.
But, I would have thee to know something new,
Not usual in a lady; and yet true:
At least so great a lady. She was wife
But of one husband: and since he left life,
But sorrow, she desired no other friend:
And her, she made her inmate to the end,
To call on sickness still, to be her guest,
Whom she, with sorrow first did lodge, then feast,
Then entertain, and as death's harbinger;
So wooed at last, that he was won to her
Importune wish; and by her loved lord's side
To lay her here, enclosed, his second bride.
Where spite of death, next life, for her love's sake,
This second marriage, will eternal make.





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