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What greater praise of God and man than mercy for to
shew ? Who, mercilesse, shall mercy find, that mercy shews to
What worse despaire than loth to dye, for feare to go to
hell ? What greater faith than trust in God, through Christ in
heaven to dwell ?
(FLOURISHED 1576.) THOMAS MARSHALL is a name, and little more; it is only known that he contributed the following poem to the first edition of the "Paradise of Dainty Devices,” published in 1576.
Though Fortune have set thee on high,
Remember yet that thou shalt die.
Death is a thing most perfect sure:
She made nothing still to endure.
That hence we should return again :
Death is due debt, it is no pain.
That thou hast taken up of trust:
Repay, except thou be unjust.
This life is like a pointed race,
To the end whereof when man hath trode, He must return to former place,
He may not still remain abroad.
Death hath in the earth a right,
His power is great, it stretcheth far:
No creature can his duty bar.
The chaste, the meek, the free of heart, The rich, the poor,--who can deny ?
Have yielded all unto his dart.
Could Hercules, that tamed each wight;
Or else Ulisses with his wit; Or Janus, who had all foresight;
Or chaste Hypolit, scape the pit ?
Or Irus with his hungry pain;
Drive back the days of Death again?
Nor hire him hence for any gain; We ought not fear his carrion shape,
He only brings evil men to pain.
Death is the end of misery:
Thou diest, to live eternally.
Each wight, therefore, while he lives here,
Let him think on his dying day: In midst of wealth, in midst of cheer,
Let him accompt he must away: This thought makes man to God a friend,
This thought doth banish pride and sin: This thought doth bring a man in th' end Where he of Death the field shall win.
ROBERT SOUTHWELL, third son of Richard Southwell, Esq., of Horsham St. Faith's, in the county of Norfolk, was born in the year 1562. At the age of fifteen he was sent to Paris for education, and placed under the religious instruction of Father Thomas Darbyshire, a nephew of Bishop Bonner, and one of the earliest amongst the English members of the Society of Jesus. Southwell soon imbibed an ardent and almost impatient desire to be admitted to the same society; into which he was received at Rome on the 17th of October, 1578, whilst still only sixteen years
age. At Rome, after a short interval of absence, he entered upon a course of philosophy and theology; in which he so brilliantly distinguished himself that he was appointed prefect of the English college in that city. In 1584, he repaired to England as a missionary priest, and for some years zealously, but without public offence, exercised the functions of that office amongst the scattered adherents of his creed.
The sensitive and persecuting jealousy cherished by the government towards the Roman Catholics, which had been exhibited with frequent severity from the time of the intrigues for and against the Queen of Scots, caused the apprehension of Southwell in 1592. In the course of a few weeks' private imprisonment he is said to have been ten times put to the torture; and to have endured his agonies with heroic fortitude and reticence. He was removed to the Gatehouse of Westminster, whence, after two months' confinement, he was transferred to a vile and noisome dungeon in the Tower. At the end of three years' close detention, he was, upon petition, brought to trial at Westminster. By his own confession he was found guilty of the then capital offence of being a Romish priest, and administering the sacraments of his church. He was executed at Tyburn, February the 22nd, 1595.
His two most considerable poems, St. Peter's Com. plaint” and “Mary Magdalene's Funeral Tears,” were written during the period of his imprisonment, and are remarkable for exhibiting no trace of acrimony towards either the authors or the instruments of his sufferings. A spirit of plaintive resignation or of manly and Christian fortitude breathes through even the saddest of his productions. Although they have lately been comparatively neglected, Southwell's works enjoyed a popularity which, between the years 1593 and 1600, carried them through no fewer than eleven editions.
TIMES GO BY TURNS.
The loppéd tree in time may grow again;
Most naked plants renew both fruit and flower;
The driest soil suck in some moistening shower ;
The sea of Fortune doth not ever flow,
She draws her favours to the lowest ebb;
Her loom doth weave the fine and coarsest web;
Not always fall of leaf, nor ever spring,
Not endless night, yet not eternal day:
The roughest storm a calm may soon allay.
That net that holds no great, takes little fish;
Few all they need, but none have all they wish;
UPON THE IMAGE OF DEATH.*
That daily should put me in mind
That shortly I am like to find;
Most ugly, grisly, bare, and thin;
Where eyes and nose had sometime been;
That telleth me whereto I must;
“Remember, man, thou art but dust:”
Do think indeed that I must die. * As this poem is one of two which appeared in the edition of Wastell's “Microbiblion," published in 1629, the following may be offered as direct and conclusive evidence that it belongs to Southwell. The full title of the “ Mæoniæ," 1595, of which it forms a part, is as follows:-“Mæoniæ; or certain excellent poems and spiritual hymns omitted in the last impression of · Peter's Complaint ;' being needful thereunto to be annexed, as being both divine and wittie. All composed by R. S.” There are in addition internal reasons, arising from the creed, the circumstances, and the order to wbich Southwell belonged, which naturally suggest themselves as tending to identify him as the author.
† With Ellis, we heie use Wastell's gloss. "Qualms," is a happy substitution for “names,” a word which makes half this line, according to the text of Southwell, without point or meaning.