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ON ROBERT BLAKE
Light griefs make teares distill out from the eye,
When great ones dull, and often stupifie.
What! is there none dare speak ? Alas ! I feare
It is too harsh to sound in English eare.
Must my misgiving soul divine the cause
Of your sad aspects ? Stay, for I must pause :
Is he that over Neptune once bore sway,
And 'gainst our foes did often get the day :
Is he that was to sea-men their delight,
And led them on most daringly to fight:
Is he whose face a terror strooke ; whose name
The darling was of Fortune and of Fame :
Is he that by example spent his breath,
And shew'd a new way how to out-face Death :
He that strook terror wheresoere he came,
And made his foes to tremble at his name—
Speak, is it true ? Is noble Blake then gone,
And left us here in dark oblivion ?
Is his seraphick soul then fled away,
Leaving nought but his ashes and his clay ?
Your silence seems to say so. Is he dead ?
Sure then your griefs cannot be numbered.
I see the lasting'st monuments must bend;
All things must have their period and end.
His brave example in our infant dayes
Of war, when he alone deserv'd the bayes;
When by his virtue onely Lime held out
Against a potent foe both bold and stout.
Taunton her liberty to him doth owe,
His bounty onely did on her bestow.
Dunster, that pleasant seat, whose lofty tow'rs
E'ne peirc't the clouds, did stoop unto his pow'rs
Bridgewater gave him birth, for that fam'd more,
And honoured, then ere she was before.
His enemies did oft amaz'd stand
When he held up his sure dead-doing hand;
And Death grew pale to see himself out-done
By one of mortall race. The setting sun
Oft peep'd abroad, as oft did blush to see
Neptune forc't weare his sanguine livery.
Though Death did often strive him to affright
Yet he out-lookt him, made him mad with spight,
And when with open force he durst not seise him
In a consumption did at last surprise him.
His head a mint of reason was ; when he
Once spake he used no tautologie.