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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. The Book of Elizabethan Verse. 1907.

On Sardanapalus’ Dishonourable Life and Miserable Death

Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey (1517–1547)

TH’ ASSYRIAN king, in peace, with foul desire

And filthy lusts that stained his regal heart;

In war, that should set princely hearts on fire,

Did yield, vanquished for want of martial art.

The dint of swords from kisses seemèd strange,

And harder than his lady’s side his targe;

From glutton feasts to soldier’s fare a change;

His helmet far above a garland’s charge:

Who scarce the name of manhood did retain,

Drenchèd in sloth and womanish delight,

Feeble of spirit, impatient of pain,

When he had lost his honour and his right,

(Proud, time of wealth; in storms, appalled with dread,)

Murthered himself, to show some manful deed.