Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, ELEGY UPON THE LADY VENETIA DIGBY, by THOMAS RANDOLPH



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ELEGY UPON THE LADY VENETIA DIGBY, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Death, who'ld not change prerogatives with thee
Last Line: Nature despairs, because her pattern's gone.
Subject(s): Digby, Lady Venetia


DEATH, who'ld not change prerogatives with thee,
That dost such rapes, yet may'st not question'd be?
Here cease thy wanton lust, be satisfied:
Hope not a second and so fair a bride.
Where was her Mars, whose valiant arms did hold
This Venus once, that thou durst be so bold
By thy too nimble theft? I know 'twas fear,
Lest he should come that would have rescu'd her.
Monster, confess, didst thou not blushing stand,
And thy pale cheek turn red to touch her hand?
Did she not lightning-like strike sudden heat
Through thy cold limbs, and thaw thy frost to sweat.
Well, since thou hast her, use her gently, Death,
And in requital of such precious breath,
Watch sentinel to guard her; do not see
The worms thy rivals, for the gods will be.
Remember Paris, for whose pettier sin
The Trojan gates let the stout Grecians in.
So, when time ceases (whose unthrifty hand
Has now almost consum'd his stock of sand),
Myriads of angels shall in armies come,
And fetch (proud ravisher) their Helen home.
And to revenge this rape, thy other store
Thou shalt resign too, and shalt steal no more.
Till then, fair ladies (for you now are fair,
But till her death I fear'd your just despair),
Fetch all the spices that Arabia yields,
Distil the choicest flowers of the fields?
And when in one their best perfections meet,
Embalm her corse, that she may make them sweet,
Whilst for an epitaph upon her stone
I cannot write, but I must weep her one.

Epitaph.

Beauty itself lies here, in whom alone
Each part enjoy'd the same perfection.
In some the eyes we praise, in some the hair:
In her the lips, in her the cheeks are fair:
That nymph's fine feet, her hands we beauteous call:
But in this form we praise no part, but all.
The ages past have many beauties shown,
And I more plenty in our time have known.
But in the age to come I look for none;
Nature despairs, because her pattern's gone.





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