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AN ALPHABET OF Elegiack Groans, UPON The truly lamented Death of that Rare Exemplar of Youthful Piety, JOHN FORTESCƲE, Of the Inner-Temple, Eſquire.

By E. E.


DIes MortIs CharIor eſt nataLe.

〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉.

London, Printed for Tho. Heath, in Ruſſel-ſtreet near the Piazza's of Covent-Garden. 1656.


AN ALPHABET OF Elegiack Groans.


ALas! why ſigh I thus? why do mine eyes
Bubble up ſorrow at theſe obſequies?
Such outward ſymptomes of my grief are ſmal,
My ſoul weeps inward at his Funeral.
That Anguiſh lurks in ſecret, whoſe dread ſmart
Wrought into th' Bottom, undermines the Heart.
Tears then adieu: only heart-blood can be
Convenient drops for ſuch an Elegie.
I've loſt Half of my Soul! Strange Fates that give
To one thus ſpirit-wounded power to live!
My OTHER I is dead! Could Atrop ſever
Two thus made one, ſo jointly knit together,
Unleſs by cutting both? Oh no! his Death
Hath wraſtled out my Life, though not my Breath.
But what, ſhall I confine to mine own Breſt
This common grief, of which the World s poſſeſt?
2A ſpringing Cedar's faln, ſo fair, ſo tall,
That all our Hearts are earthquak'd at his Fall:
Which was ſo ſtrangely ſudden, as his Riſe
To ſuch Perfections was; it doth ſurpriſe
Us with Amazement, that our Faces be
Badg'd with that Mark of Grief, Stupiditie.
'Twould ſeem to eaſe our ſorrows, could we raiſe
Our words ſo high as to compleat his Praiſe.
But this we cannot do, unleſs we could
Form our rough Brains in ſo exact a mould,
As that from them might flow in Teary ſhoures
So many Volumes as He lived houres.
Yet this we muſt confeſs; his Parts ſo rife
Made him far fitter for his death, than life.
Earth ſcarcely knew them; for, like Stars, they were
Leſs in her eye, 'cauſe unto Heav'n more neere.
He was God's Hidden Treaſure; no Mans eye
View'd all thoſe Riches which in's ſoul did lie.
God now has tane him to his proper place;
But wreſting out the Gem, He th broke the Caſe:
Yet 'twill be made agen by ſacred Art
The fit Encloſure of his better Part.
Why then lament we at his Funerall?
Ah! though he fell not, yet he ſeems to fall:
Juſt like a Star that's darted through the sky,
Which ſeems to fall, becauſe it ſhuns our eye.
But, that our Eyes have loſt their deareſt ſight,
May Tears conveigh them to the ſhades of Night.
My ſoul oreflows with grief; ſo full's my Thought,
That, like a Bubble, it is ſwolne to nought:
I'm grown ſo ſtupid, that by ſilence I
Can only ſpeak ſo vaſt Calamity.


BE not my Lines Poetick: let them Faign,
That carry ſorrow not in Heart, but Brain.
My waters of Affliction or'eflow
The Banks of Helicon: I cannot ſhow
My ſolid grief in Verſe; no Muſes wing
Can bear the weight of my ſoul-ſuffering.
Sad groans and ſighs are here articulate;
Theſe, only theſe can ſignifie ſuch Fate:
For, when the Siſters Three ſo throw their Darts,
They fill each corner of our trembling Hearts
With helpleſs anguiſh; that there be no room
To hatch ſuch words as may ſet forth our Doom.
What then, what ſhall we do? Grief ſtreitly pent
Swells up the bigger: Pufft Hearts break, or vent.
Shall Fates, like Cutters, which mens Fortunes drain,
Thus ſtop our mouths, that we ſhould not complain?
Ah! though our Tongues be ty'd, yet ſhall our Eyes
Drop down Expreſsion of our Miſeries.


COme on Eye-flouds apace: 'tis eaſe to weep:
Thoſe wounds need waſhing which are ſtruck ſo deep;
Leaſt that they putrifie: men in diſtreſs
Made blinde with tears do ſee their grief the leſs.
O doleful Tragedies, which mortals finde
Shut up within the cloſet of their minde!
Where Appetite with Will is diſcontent,
The one would not, the other muſt lament.
4So they diſtractions raiſe within our Breſt,
And we our ſelves give to our ſelves no Reſt.
We joy, and mourn, and mourn, and joy again,
Now there is Sun-ſhine, then Tempeſtuous Rain;
We joy that he's in Heav'n, agen we mourn
And wiſh our ſelves compoſed in his Urn.
Thus are our Thoughts revolv'd, as tho there were
No fixed Object which might ſtay them, here
Now He is gone, who was that Riſing Sun
Which did attract each Exhalation
Of our endeared Hearts, like Phaebe, He
Seems to theſe eyes of Fleſh ecclips'd to be:
'Cauſe our inferior ſight of Him's bereaven
By interpoſed Earth 'twixt us and Heaven;
Where now He's firmly ſeated, and ſhall be
A Son of Light to all Eternitie.


DEad! oh! and were mine Ears then made to be
A Labyrinth t'incloſe mine Agonie;
Which through their winding caverns let in pain
Into my ſoul, ne're to go out again?
Farewell (if He be dead) farewell our joyes
On ſordid Earth; farewell thoſe charming toyes
The world affords: And it ſhall henceforth be
Our Life to think upon Mortalitie.
Bleſt Saint that art at reſt, now flown above
The reach of Fate, by th'wings o' th' Heav'nly Dove.
Pardon, oh pardon, if our teary eyes
Bemoan not thine, but our own Obſequies,
Who daily die; and (which ſtill makes us grieve)
There's nothing in us, but our Deaths, doth live.
Thy Death is dead, not thou: O may we then
Once die like thee, that we ne're die agen.


EMbleme of Vertue, from whoſe Noble eye
Heroick Height mixt with Humilitie
Shone forth a peerleſs Paradox; whoſe ſoul
Divinely big ſwells out of that weak ſcroul
Which it involv'd: So us our griefs compell,
That ſince thou went'ſt to Heav'n, Earth ſeems our Hell;
And this is our due portion: for 'tis juſt
That we ſhould faulter with theſe Clogs of Duſt,
Until Gods love, the true Prometheus Fire,
Our Earthen Hearts ſhall bleſſedly inſpire,
By whoſe aſcendent vertue we may be
(Like Thee) rais'd up to Immortalitie.


FAith is ſo weak it cannot ſee
His Joyes; or our perplexitie:
Oh! we have drunk in ſo much Gall,
That now we have no Taſte at all.
Black Sorrows wrapt up in a Miſt,
May whiffle us now where they liſt,
And (like Hob-goblins) they conſpire
To lead our thoughts into the Mire
6 Of ſtupid anguiſh, where we finde
Nought elſe, but that w'have loſt our Mind.
But ah, what Friendſhip is in this;
That we do ſo deplore his bliſs?
O tell us not of that: our Tears
Have (like their cauſe, his Death) no Ears.


GReat in true Goodneſs! Rich in Mind
As well's in Lands, and Birth! we find
No Epithite fit to ſet forth
The full Encomium of his worth.
His Youth was Ag'd with Piety,
Which ſeem'd of ſuch antiquity,
That whoſoever knew it, would
Conceit Him in his Nonage Old.
Er'e He could look abroad to ſee
The Worlds enticing Vanitie,
God fixt His Eyes on things above,
Which ſtraight way took his chiefeſt love:
And ſo on Earth of Earth bereaven,
He hovered 'twixt it, and Heaven.
Fond Ranters ſhallow Gallantry
He rightly judg'd meer ſlavery
To Tyrant Sin. Streight-living He
Enlarg'd his Soul to Sanctitie.
Each day he thought upon his laſt,
And now at length in haſt He paſt
Out of this World; indeed, as tho
He would not tell us that hee'ld go
So quickly from us, leſt our Eyes
Should ſhew His Joyes our Miſeries,
And ſo diſturb his pious Breaſt,
Rejoycing at approaching Reſt.
He fitly went to Bed ſo ſoon,
Whoſe very morning was High-noon.


HEre let us ſtay our mournfull looks, and ſee
Deaths ſums caſt up in an Epitome:
For All our Lives are loſt in Him: we have
(Strange Fate!) our Souls entombed in his Grave;
Nay, 'tis not ſo, but thus: our Hearts ſtruck dead
In our (yet walking) Corps lie Buried.


I-nricht with Poverty of Spirit,
O-n nothing leſs then His own Merit
H-e ſet his Thoughts: His Soul ſo bright
N-ere view'd its own Celeſtiall light.
F-ame He abhor'd; whoſe feeble wings
O-ft whirleth up the lighteſt things,
R-are Vertues, as were his, do flye
T-oo lofty for the Worlds ſquint Eye.
E-ach Gem of His rich Mind did even
S-end up its Sparks as high as Heaven:
C-hriſt (ſeeing it Divinely good)
U-nſtrips His Soul of Fleſh, and Blood:
Thoſe tireſome Rags: even ſo away was hurld
Elia's Mantle, when he left the World.


KNow, know we not that Death is gain
To ſuch as liv'd like Him? complain
We then for nought? why ſhould our Eye
Set forth ſo vain Hydrography,
Wherein deſcrib'd we ſeem to ſee
Whole Floods of Sorrow, though there be
No reaſon for't? are we bedight
With Black for Him, on whom The Light
Of men ſo ſhines? are we Diſtreſt;
Perplext, Unquiet at His Reſt?
Lets not betear our Eyes, unleſſe it be
For want o'th' ſight of His Felicitie.


LO, how our Grief rebounds, it rages worſe
When we endeavour to reſtrain its force.
The Flood gates of our Eyes ſet ope, the ſpout
Of Tears ſtopt in, will guſh the faſter out.
Come; ſith neceſſity will have it ſo,
Let what gave th'cauſe, give end unto our wo;
And let's be plung'd in ſadneſſe till we find
That w'have or'ethrown its reſting place our Mind:
Yea ſo let this diſtract our Thoughts, that they
Ner'e find contentment in theſe Vaults of Clay.


MIght we not think 'twould come to This, that he
Spent all his time upon Eternitie,
9 As if he came into the world t'obtain
An happy paſſage to get out again?
Ah, how could we expect His longer ſtay,
When we perceiv'd him to make haſt away.
Full fraught with Grace, unto the joyfull Port
Of Bliſs, unto the King of Kings great Court?
Where He's in Glory, here in Fame: and thus
His wiſhed Death makes him Amphibious.


NO more be Fates call'd Black, ſith through them He
Has gotten his white cope, and liberty
From all that Dungeon-darkneſs which w'are in
Whiles hudled up within theſe Clouds of ſin.
The Thread of's Life regain'd he now doth ſee
Stretcht through the Ones of all Eternitie.
Thus Atrop juggleth ſtill with Pious Men,
And cuts their THREAD to make it whole agen.


O That ſome Seraphim His praiſe would ſing,
Or lend a Quill pluckt from his heavenly wing,
Whereby it might be writ for't does decline
His Commendation that is not Divine.
Young Muſes are unskil'd in ſuch grave Theams,
And hardly can acquire the Sov'raign ſtreams
O'th Well of Life, for Helicon, as ſhould
Thoſe that would caſt their Verſe in ſuch a Mould,
10 That it might form his Praiſe. That muſt not be
Verſe Rampant which ſets forth Humility.
Pens lightly praiſing Piety miſtake,
And, like bad Penſils, blot the work they make.
Great Ornaments not ſuited well, deface,
And oft Encomiums miſ-expreſt, diſgrace.
He that would ſhevv His ſacred Worth, muſt be.
A Limner of Incarnate Sanctitie,
Which if Men knew both it & Him, would ſure
Be thought His fit and only Portraicture.


PUmpt Helicon runs muddy; and that ſtrain
Muſt needs be jarring, that's wrung out'oth 'brain
Diſtracted with true ſorrows, vvhich combin'd,
Root out all Concord' oth' afflicted Mind.
Such Lines as ſhould vvear Mourning, may not be
Dreſt all-a-mode i'th' garb of Poetry.
Verſe prickt vvith grief goes lame. There ner'e appears
A Phoebus 'mongſt ſo many Showres of Tears.
But yet vvee'l vvrite, tho vveakly; ſome may call
Perhaps our Faults here artificiall:
Men ſtutter moſt at greateſt things: 'tis fit
At ſuch bright Theams to ſhut the Eyes o'th' Wit:
That vvhiles (our paſſage ſtopt) vv'are at a ſtay
We may make known the hardneſſe of the vvay.


QUake Ranter-Gallants, and deſpair to bee
Exempt from Deaths untimely ſtroke, ſith he
Is faln ſo ſoon, untainted with a Glance
Sparkling from Luſt, or vain Intemperance;
Which haſten on your Fate, whoſe ev'ry Eye,
As well as Mouth 's enſlav d to Gluttony.
You live ſo looſly, that your Lives may be
Slipt from you by the rrue Mortalitie.
Then through His Death caſt thoughts upon your ovvn,
And ſo His Life ſhall in your lives be ſhown.


RAge Tyrant Death: whatever thou canſt do,
Is but to force Him to o'recome thee too,
As well as this vain World: thou ſtrik'ſt, but He
Repells thy blow, and gains the victory.
He could not put thee to this ſhamefull flight,
Untill that thou hadſt firſt began the Fight.
Thou ſtrip'ſt him of His robes; 'tis true, but He
Now wears theſe Trophies that He won from thee.


SOon ripe, ſoon rotten? falſe! that Bud which ſprings
So ſoon in Grace, ſhall by the King of Kings
(Prun'd by his ſervant Deaths all-cutting knife)
Ingraffed be into the Tree of Life.
12Rotten? Oh no: our ſoon-ripe Saint puts on
A Life that ne're ſhall ſee Corruption.
'Twas time for Him to leave the world, for even
Here upon Earth His ſoul was fixt on Heaven.


TEll us no more of Lands, and Wealth: we ſee
They are nought elſe but winged vanity;
They flye from us, or we from them: but they
Who from the Treaſure of Gods Word convey
True wealth into their ſacred ſouls, ſhall be
Alive in death, and rich in Povertie.
Hence 'twas renowned, peerleſs Saint, that thou
Wouldſt ſcarce look down upon theſe things below,
But, ſhutting thine exterior Eye, didſt finde
The ſure ſight i'th' eye of thy cleer Minde.


VNruly paſſions! ſhall we ſtill
Go mourning thus againſt our will?
We know 'tis vain to grieve; again
Our knowing this is all in vain.
W'are ſo entrapt i'th' Fates dire gin,
That ſtrugling claſps us faſter in
Our hearts with ſorrow frozen, thaw
At the Sun-beams of Reaſon's Law:
And ſo the Knowledge that our Plaints are vain,
Sith it can't help, makes us the more complain.


WE on this ſubject can't be dry,
Whiles Helicon flows in our Eye
Our heart's the pumpe of ſorrow: ſo
It's full ſtill of ſucceſſive woe,
That, when it is exhauſt by th' Pen,
There ſprings up new, to fill 't agen.
Our lighter Thoughts may make us weep;
Some in our ſouls are ſunk So deep,
That they can't be fetcht up by Art,
Unleſs the Tripod of our Heart
Should be made viſible, from whence
Phaebus might ſpend his Eloquence.
But now, alas, ſith that we finde
No Embleme to ſet forth our Minde,
How ſhall we ſhew our griefs, which are
Too weighty to be born i'th' Aire,
Or eke tranſported by a Quill
To publike view? Go too: we will
Add this grief more unto the reſt,
That our vaſt Griefs can't be expreſt.


YOung Saint Farewel! My work is done,
Although it want perfection:
But, when we ſpeak unfaigned grief
The largeſt Rhet'rick's to be brief.
14He that doth thus himſelf bemoan,
Can't make an artificial Groan.
His ſhatter'd words he will ſo ſtate
As ſhaken by the hand of Fate.
Whoever has a ſoul like me,
Diſturbed with an Extaſie,
Thrown on me by Deaths forked Dart
Shot through the White of my ſad heart,
Wherein was ſeated He, in whom
Now dead I ſee alive my doom.
I le Groan no more by book, the Smart
Of whipping Fate makes me by heart
To learn ſuch groans as do rebound
Upon our Breaſts with Silent Sound;
Theſe chiefly mount to Heavens Ears
Accompany'd with unwept Tears,
Which a ſoul-ſeeing Eye may finde
Congeal'd within our ſtupid Minde.
Farewel, Bleſt Saint! a Farewel's onely true
To them (like thee) that bid the World adieu.
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TextAn alphabet of elegiack groans, upon the truly lamented death of that rare exemplar of youthful piety, John Fortescue, of the Inner-Temple, esquire / By E.E.
AuthorElys, Edmund, ca. 1634-ca. 1707..
Extent Approx. 20 KB of XML-encoded text transcribed from 9 1-bit group-IV TIFF page images.
SeriesEarly English books online.
Additional notes

(EEBO-TCP ; phase 2, no. A84403)

Transcribed from: (Early English Books Online ; image set 168395)

Images scanned from microfilm: (Thomason Tracts ; 133:E885[2])

About the source text

Bibliographic informationAn alphabet of elegiack groans, upon the truly lamented death of that rare exemplar of youthful piety, John Fortescue, of the Inner-Temple, esquire / By E.E. Elys, Edmund, ca. 1634-ca. 1707.. [2], 14 p. Printed for Tho. Heath, in Russel-street near the Piazza's of Covent-Garden.,London, :1654 [i.e. 1656]. (E.E. = Edmund Elys. Cf. Wing.) (In verse.) (Annotation on Thomason copy: "August 6"; the 4 in imprint date has been altered to 6.) (Reproduction of the original in the British Library.)
  • Fortescue, John, -- Sir, 1592-1656 -- Early works to 1800.
  • Elegiac poetry, English -- Early works to 1800.

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  • Text Creation Partnership,
ImprintAnn Arbor, MI ; Oxford (UK) : 2011-12 (EEBO-TCP Phase 2).
  • DLPS A84403
  • STC Wing E658
  • STC Thomason E885_2
  • STC ESTC R207316
  • EEBO-CITATION 99866373
  • PROQUEST 99866373
  • VID 168395

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