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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

First Line: My gracious lord, I licence of thee crave
Last Line: Much in her thoughts, and yet she fear'd not death.
Subject(s): Death; Funerals; Marriage; Mourning; Puritans In Literature; Dead, The; Burials; Weddings; Husbands; Wives; Bereavement

PART. 1.

My Gracious Lord, I Licence of thee Crave,
Not to repine but drop upon the Grave
Of my Deare Wife a Teare, or two: or wash
Thy Milk White hand in tears that downward pass.
Thou summond hast her Noble part away:
And in Salt Tears I would Embalm her Clay.
Some deem Death doth the True Love Knot unty:
But I do finde it harder tide thereby.
My heart is in't and will be squeez'd therefore
To pieces if thou draw the Ends much more.
Oh strange Untying! it ti'th harder: What?
Can anything unty a True Love Knot?
Five Babes thou tookst from me before this Stroake.
Thine arrows then into my bowells broake,
But now they pierce into my bosom smart,
Do strike and stob me in the very heart.
I'de then my bosom Friend a Comfort, and
To Comfort: Yet my Lord, I kiss thy hand.
I Her resign'd, thou tookst her into thine,
Out of my bosom, yet she dwells in mine:
And though her Precious Soule now swims in bliss,
Yet while grim Death, that Dismall Sergeant is,
Between the Parts Essentiall now remote,
And hath this stately Tabernacle broke
My Harp is turnd to mourning: Organ sweet
Is turn'de into the Voice of them that weep.
Griefe swelling girds the Heart Strings where its purst,
Unless it Vent the Vessell sure will burst.
My Gracious Lord, grant that my bitter Griefe
Breath through this little Vent hole for reliefe.

PART. 2.

My Dear, Deare Love, reflect thou no such thing,
Will Griefe permit you at my Grave to sing?
Oh! Black Black Theme! The Girths of Griefe alone
Do gird my heart till Gust of Sorrows groan
And dash a mournfull Song to pieces on
The Dolefull Face of thy Sepulcher Stone.
My Onely DOVE, though Harp and Harrow, loe,
Better agree than Songs and Sorrows doe,
Yet spare me thus to drop a blubber'd Verse
Out of my Weeping Eyes Upon thy Herse.
What shall my Preface to our True Love Knot
Frisk in Acrostick Rhimes? And may I not
Now at our parting, with Poetick knocks
Break a salt teare to pieces as it drops?
Did Davids bitter Sorrow at the Dusts
Of Jonathan raise such Poetick gusts?
Do Emperours interr'd in Verses lie?
And mayn't such Feet run from my Weeping Eye?
Nay, Dutie lies upon mee much; and shall
I in thy Coffin naile thy Vertues all?
How shall thy Babes, and theirs, thy Vertuous shine
Know, or Persue unless I them define?
Thy Grace will Grace unto a Poem bee
Although a Poem be no grace to thee.
Impute it not a Crime then if I weep
A Weeping Poem on thy Winding Sheet.
Maybe some Angell may my Poem sing
To thee in Glory, or relate the thing,
Which if he do, my mournfull Poem may
Advance thy Joy, and my Deep Sorrow lay.

PART. 3.

Your Ears, Bright Saints, and Angells: them I Choose
To stough her Praises in: I'le not abuse.
Her Modesty would blush should you profess,
I in Hyperboles her praises dress.
Wherefore as Cramping Griefe permitts to stut
Them forth accept of such as here I put.
Her Husbands Joy, Her Childrens Chiefe Content.
Her Servants Eyes, Her Houses Ornament.
Her Shine as Child, as Neighbour, flies abroad
As Mistress, Mother, Wife, her Walke With God.
As Child she was a Tender, Pious Bud
Of Pious Parents, sprang of Pious Blood
Two Grandsires, Gran'ams: one or two, she had
A Father too and Mother, that englad
The Gracious heart to thinke upon, they were
Bright Pillars in Gods Temple shining cleare.
Her Father, and her Mothers Father fix
As shining Stars in Golden Candlesticks.
She did Obedient, Tender, Meek Child prove
The Object of her Fathers Eye, and Love.
Her Mother being Dead, her heart would melt
When she her Fathers looks not pleasant felt.
His smile Would her enliven, Frown, down pull
Hence she became his Child most Dutifull.
As Neighbour, she was full of Neighbourhood
Not Proud, or Strang; Grave, Courteous, ever good.
Compassionate: but unto none was Soure.
Her Fingers dropt with Myrrh, oft, to her power.
As Mistress she order'd her Family
With all Discretion, and most prudently
In all things prompt: Dutie in this respect
Would to the meanest in it not neglect.
Ripe at her Fingers Ends, Would nothing flinch.
She was a neate good Huswife every inch.
Although her weakenesse made her let alone
Things so to go, as made her fetch a groan.
Remiss was not, nor yet severe unto
Her Servants: but i'th' golden mean did goe.
As Mother, Oh! What tender Mother She?
Her bowells Boiled ore to them that bee
Bits of her tender Bowells. She a share
Of her affections ever made them ware.
Yet never chose to trick them, nor herselfe
In antick garbs; or Lavishness of Wealth.
But was a Lover much of Comeliness:
And with her Needle work would make their Dress.
The Law of Life within her Lips she would
Be dropping forth upon them as shee should.
Foolishly fond she was not but would give
Correction wisely, that their Soules might Live.
As Wife, a Tender, Tender, Loving, Meet,
Meeke, Patient, Humble, Modest, Faithfull, Sweet
Endearing Help she was: Whose Chiefest Treasure
Of Earthly things she held her Husbands pleasure.
But if she spi'de displeasure in his face,
Sorrow would spoile her own, and marr its grace.
Dear Heart! She would his Joy, Peace, Honour, Name,
Even as her very Life, seeke to mentain.
And if an hasty word by chance dropt in:
She would in secret sigh it or'e with him.
She was not wedded unto him alone
But had his joy, and sorrow as her own.
She, where he chanc'd to miss, a Cover would lay
Yet would in Secret fore him all Display
In meekness of sweet wisdom, and by Art,
As Certainly would winde into the heart.
She laid her neck unto the Yoake he draws:
And was his Faithfull Yoake Mate, in Christ's Cause.

As to her walk with God, she did inherit
The very Spirits of her Parents Spirit.
She was no gaudy Christian, or gilt Weed:
But was a Reall, Israelite indeed.
When in her Fathers house God toucht her Heart,
That Trembling Frame of Spirit, and that Smart,
She then was under very, few did know:
Whereof she somewhat to the Church did show.
Repentance now's her Work: Sin poyson is:
Faith, carries her to Christ as one of his.
Fear Temples in her heart; Love flowers apace
To God, Christ, Grace Saints, and the Means of Grace.
She's much in Reading, Pray're, Selfe-Application
Holds humbly up, a pious Conversation
In which she makes profession * * * * * * * *
Which unto Westfield Church she did disclose.
Holy in Health; Patient in Sickness long.
And very great. Yet gracious Speech doth throng:
She oft had up, An Alwise God Doth this.
And in a filiall way the Rod would kiss.
When Pains were Sore, Justice can do no wrong,
Nor Mercy Cruell be; became her Song.
The Doomsday Verses much perfum'de her Breath,
Much in her thoughts, and yet she fear'd not Death.

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