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EBBA 32086

Huntington Library - Britwell
Ballad XSLT Template
An Epitaph / of Maister Fraunces Benison /
Citizene and Marchant of London, and of the Ha-
berdashers Company.

IF lacke of health be such a lot,
as doth diminish store:
And losse of goods doth care procure,
with sobs and sighings sore.

Much more is losse of frendly friend,
whom GOD hath cald by death,
But unto us the losse redoundes,
which live by vitall breath.

Man may to health restored be,
if Gods good wyll be so:
And wealth again mai grow in time
evyll hap to overthrow.

But friendly friend whom God by
death, hath cald to live in joy:
Cannot agayne to us returne,
but rest with out anoy.

Faith being fixed firme in hart, and hope of Heavens blisse:
Sure then in happy state they rest, this sequel cannot misse.

Oh Fraunces Benison (I say) Gods Benison no doubt:
Thou wast the blessing sure of GOD, to wyfe, and all the rout

Of thy good friendes and kinred to, GOD blessed them in thee:
And blessed twise wast thou of GOD, such happy dayes to see

Of Marchauntes all he was the floure, for wysdome and good skill:
And right experte in every trade, delightyng therein still.

This three and twenty yeares, or more, in traffike he did toyle:
Hys wyll and skyll was alwaies such, he thought it no tormoyle.

With forecast he and diligence did comprehend no doubt,
The understanding of all trades, nere Christendome throughout.

And havyng oportunitie, no tyme he would omit:
Hys full pretence to bryng to passe, and purpose for to hit.

When wynde and tyde dyd speede require, all one was night or noone:
His watchings he did nothing way, tyl his attemptes were done.

He oft would say that Diligence, good Fortunes Mother was:
Which brought his enterprises all, more luckely to pas.

Full quicke and ready with hys pen, and cunning to likewise:
Of right good skyll for to endight, to serve eche enterprise.

As well for frend, as for him selfe, when neede the same did crave:
Whether it were in Marchaunts trade, or other matters grave

Besides his native English tong, the French and Dutch he spake:
With pen and speeche in pleasant stile, he arguments could make.

And for his tyme his trade hath bene, as ample I am sure
As any Marchant of thys Land, whylest here he dyd endure.

The Queenes revenues of her crowne, he thereby did enlarge:
With great preferment of all youth committed to his charge.

Beneficiall eke he was, to eche sorte and degree:
He traded so by Sea and land, it could none other bee.

These past, he with good name and fame, to eche mans contentacion:
That with him dealt in any trade, to his great commendacion.

And though besides his propper stocke, he used credite large:
Yet eche contract in traffike done, right well he did discharge.

And hys corragious attemptes, by forecast so did frame:
That divers men did muse therat, and some malignde the same.

Which to him knowne, full wysely he, could temper Nature so:
That he unquiet would not be, but let all malice go.

And leave to GOD the whole revenge, styll seeking quietnes:
So his affaires they framed well, and better had succes.

To taste the sower wyth the sweete, hym selfe so did prepare:
When any losse he did sustaine, that pacience conquerd care.

Citizen lyke in every poynt, himselfe he did behave:
With comely gesture and attire, right decent, sad, and grave.

With cherefull salutacions, right curteous to all men:
And how to use audacitie, he knew place, tyme and when.

To noble and to worshipfull, sure knowne he was as well,
As unto the inferiour sorte, this just reporte can tell.

And also knowne in Princes Court, by his sollicitacion:
As well for causes of his own, as others of hys nation.

He left behinde hym worldly goodes, all men to satisfie:
And for to comfort wyfe and frendes also aboundantly.

And where he was a Governour, for thimpotentes defence:
He charitably unto them, gave his benevolence.

Hys Wyll long time lay by him made, which he from yeare to yeare:
Dyd oversee and order so, as Death were ever neare.

Sicknes so sharpely did him take, all hope it did expell:
No way there was Death to escape, which he perceived well.

Straight therupon he did commit, to persons of great skyll:
The orderyng of hys temporall goods, according to hys Wyll.

And gave himselfe cleane from the world, and onely dyd depend:
On Christes death to be his lyfe, and so he made an end.

Whose soule no doubt remaynes in joy, with Abraham and the rest:
Of good and faythfull Patriarkes, who sure of God are blest.

His good examples to ensue, graunt Lord we thee desire:
And that we may them immitate, we humbly thee require,

Thus I conclude, yelding to GOD, all honour, laud and prayse:
With thanks for this our brother deare, & wish to walke his waies.

Imprynted at London
by John Awdely, dwellyng in little
Britayne streete, wythout

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