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English Poetry I: From Chaucer to Gray.
The Harvard Classics. 1909–14.

Ben Jonson

161. On Salathiel Pavy

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 seem’d to strive

Which own’d the creature.

Years he number’d scarce thirteen

When Fates turn’d cruel,

Yet three fill’d zodiacs had he been

The stage’s jewel;

And did act (what now we moan)

Old men so duly,

As sooth the Parcæ thought him one,

He play’d 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.