Poems, &c. written upon several occasions, and to several persons by Edmond Waller.
Waller, Edmund, 1606-1687.
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To my Lord of Northumberland upon the death of his Lady.
TO this great loss a Sea of Tears is due;
But the whole debt not to be paid by you:
Charge not your self with all, nor render vain
Those show'rs the eyes of us your servants rain.
Shall grief contract the largeness of that heart,
In which nor fear nor anger has a part?
Virtue would blush, if time should boast (which dries
Her sole child dead, the tender Mothers eyes)
Page 109 Your minds relief, where reason triumphs so
Over all passions, that they ne'r could grow
Beyond their limits in your Noble breast,
To harm another, or impeach your rest.
This we observ'd, delighting to obey
One who did never from his great self stray:
Whose mild example seemed to engage
Th'obsequious Seas, and teach them not to rage.
The brave Emilius, his great charge laid down,
(The force of Rome, and fate of Macedon)
In his lost sons did feel the cruel stroke
Of changing fortune, and thus highly spoke
Before Romes people: we did oft implore
That if the Heav'ns had any bad in store
For your Emilius, they would pour that ill
On his own house, and let you flourish •till.
You on the barren Seas (my Lord) have spent,
Whole Springs and Summers, to the publick lent:
Page 110 Suspended all the pleasures of your life,
And shortned the short joy of such a wife:
For which your Countrey's more obliged, then
For many lives of old, less-happy men.
You that have sacrific'd so great a part
Of Youth and private bliss, ought to impart
Your sorrow too, and give your friends a right
As well in your Affliction, as Delight:
Then with Emilian courage bear this cross,
Since publick persons only publick loss
Ought to affect: and though her form and youth,
Her application to your Will and Truth,
That Noble Sweetness, and that humble State
All snatch'd away by such a hasty fate,
Might give excuse to any common Breast,
With the huge weight of so just grief opprest;
Yet let no portion of your life be stain'd
With passion, but your character maintain'd
Page 111 To the last Act; it is enough her Stone
May honoured be with Superscription
Of the sole Lady, who had power to move
The Great Northumberland to grieve and love.