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ANONYMOUS MODERN EPIGRAMS.
EPITAPH ON FAIR ROSAMUND.
(Camden's “ Britannia"-Oxfordshire.)
Which erst was wont to savour passing well. This is the well-known monkish epitaph in the nunnery at Godstow. “In Corio's History of Milan' it is stated to have been first placed on the tomb of Rosamunda, Queen of the Lombards, who died in the sixth century"
" (“Notes and Queries,” 2nd S. X. 88). Two stanzas in Warner's " Albion's England," on Queen Eleanor's discovery of Rosamund's bower, and treatment of her, are interesting in connection with the epitaph. The first is singularly beautiful (chap 41):
With that she dasht her on the lippes,
So dyed them doubly red:
Soft were those lippes that bled.
Thus did faire Rose (no longer rose
Nor faire, in scent, or sight)
And soone her wrong did right.
LINES FOUND BY MICHAEL ANGELO ON THE PEDESTAL
OF HIS STATUE OF “NIGHT.” Translated from the Italian by Bland, in “ Collections from the Greek
Anthology,” 1813, 407. Night in this lovely posture you behold:
An angel's art to rugged marble gives
This slumbering form. Because she sleeps, she lives. Doubt you? Then wake her; by herself be told.
Michael Angelo thus answered for the goddess (translated by Bland):
Grateful is sleep—but more to be of stone,
While guilt and shame upon the earth appear.
Then wake me not-I fain would slumber on. The lines found by Michael Angelo on the pedestal of his statue are attributed to Giovanni Strozzi.
GALLATTA-BATTUS. (“The Mastive, or Young-Whelpe of the Olde-Dogge. Epigrams and
Satyrs.” By H. P.)
Vera Filia Patris.
His manner is to eat it with a spoon. The volume from which these epigrams are taken is ascribed by some to Henry Parrot; but this is, probably, a mistake, as the epigrams are very different in style, and very inferior in wit, to those in “ Laquei Ridiculosi” by that author. Others, with better reason, ascribe it to Henry Peacham, the author of " The Compleat Gentleman."
ON THE GRAVESTONE OF SHAKESPEARE, IN
And curs'd be he that moves my bones.
a certain period, and depositing them in charnel-houses. There is no reason to believe that Shakespeare wrote the lines himself. They were probably placed on his gravestone by those who had the care of his funeral. A correspondent of “Notes and Queries,” (3rd S. II. 164), states that he found a similar inscription in Wimbledon Churchyard, on a tomb of the date of 1847.
EPITAPH ON THE WIFE OF SIR COPE D'OYLY. 1618.
(Burke's “ Extinct Baronetage.”)
In “Wit Restored,” 1658, ed. 1817, II. 233, there is a quaint epitaph of similar character on a matron :
Here lies a wife was chaste, a mother blest;
Martha to men whilst here she had abode. In the “Gentleman's Magazine," LXXX. Part II. 527, an epitaph of similar character at Grays, in Essex, is given:
Behold the silent grave; it doth embrace
EPITAPH ON WILLIAM WHEATLY.
(Wood's “Athena Oxonienses,” ed. 1813, II. 639.) The conceits of the writers known as the Metaphysical Poets, of whom Dr. Johnson, in his “ Life of Cowley," has given a masterly account, were sometimes carried to an extent which might appear almost incredible. An example is exhibited in an epitaph in the churchyard of Banbury over the grave of William Whatelie, or Wheatly, the vicar, a man of much learning, who died in 1039:
Whatsoe'er thou'lt say who passest by,
Why? here's enshrin'd celestial dust;
These stones, as feoffees, weep in trust.
Who swam to's tomb in 's people's eyes.
Some in rich Parian stone, in ivory
And marble some, Lipsius in tears doth lie.
The Queen was brought by water to Whitehall,
Sh‘ad come by water, had she come by land. Camden calls this “doleful"; Horace Walpole says it is “a most perfect example of the bathos."
HUGO GROTIUS, When confined in the fortress of Loevestein on suspicion of favouring the Arminians, obtained permission to borrow books, which came in and were returned in chests. His wife enabled him to effect his escape by concealing him in one of these chests, supposed by the guards to contain books. The following epigram was made on the event. It is translated from the Latin in "Selections from the French Anas," 1797, II. 17:
This chest, which to its master did convey
Owen addressed a Latin epigram “ To Roger Owen, a learned Knight " (Bouk IV. 245), which Harvey thus translates :
Thou know'st the Britons' laws, their old, new rites,
A living library seems in thine head. Cowper, in the second of his odes “On the burning of Lord Mansfield's Library,” rejoices in the care which preserved "his sacred head from harm,” and adds :
There Memory, like the bee that's fad
From Flora's balmy store,
Had treasured up before.
ON A GARDENER.
Could he forget his death that every hour
That still was conversant ’mongst beds of dust. Unhappily, it is too commonly the case that those who are “emblemed to " death are the very persons who think the least of their own end. The callousness which is bred by habit is inimitably drawn out by Shakespeare in the grave-diggers' scene in “Hamlet," where the singing of the one clown and the play of wit of both, is only interrupted by the order of the one to the other, “Go, get thee to Yaughan, and fetch me a stoup of liquor."
COLONEL JOIN LILBURN, Born in 1618, was called, says Granger, “ Freeborn John," and was the most hardened and refractory of all the seditious libellers of the time. He was, moreover, of such a quarrelsome disposition, that it was appositely said of him, Wood tells us, “ that, if there was none living but he, John would be against Lilburn, and Lilburn against John. This saying was probably the origin of the following epigram on his death, which is found in Grey's notes to Butler's “Hudibras,” ed. 1806, II. 271; and in other places :
Is John departed, and is Lilburn gone?