Epitaph

A poem by Ben Jonson

On Salathiel Peavy, A Child of Queen Elizabeth’s Chapel

Weep with me, all you that read
This little story;
And know, for whom a tear you shed
Death’s self is sorry.
’Twas a child that so did thrive
In grace and feature,
As Heaven and Nature seemed to strive
Which owned the creature.
Years he numbered scarce thirteen
When Fates turned cruel,
Yet three filled zodiacs had he been
The stage’s jewel;
And did act (what now we moan)
Old men so duly,
As, sooth, the Parcae thought him one,
He played so truly.
So, by error, to his fate
They all consented;
But viewing him since (alas, too late),
They have repented,
And have sought, to give new birth,
In baths to steep him;
But, being so much too good for earth,
Heaven vows to keep him.

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