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EBBA 32265

Huntington Library - Britwell
Ballad XSLT Template
An Epitaph, or funerall inscription, upon the godlie life and death of the Right
worshipfull Maister William Lambe Esquire, Founder of the new Conduit in Hol-
borne, etc. Deceased the one and twentith of April, and intumbed in S. Faiths Church
under Powles, the sixt of Maie next and immediately following.
Anno. 1580. Devised by Abraham Fleming.

ALl flesh is grasse, the * Scripture saith, and vadeth like a flowre,
And nothing to be permanent, can vaunt it hath the powre.
The fairest and the foulest thing, that any man can name,
Hath but a time to live and die, in honour or in shame.
No articificiall workemanship, no notable devise,
No valiant act, no noble deede, no puissant enterprise,
But as in time triumphantly, it challengeth renowne,
Even so in time from honours hight, at last it tumbleth downe.
The doubtfull state of mortall man, an argument may bee,
That nothing is perpetuall, which glansing eie doeth see,
But transitorie, fraile, and vaine, as time demandes his fee.
The Sunne & Moone * shall have their chaunge, though gloriously they shine,
The glistering Starres in firmament, from brightnes shall decline,
The scattered cloudes, like winding worme, or scortched parchment scroll,
Shall shrinke together, as in skies they are constraind to roll.
Then, sith celestiall creatures state, so alterable is,
That vaine we count each earthlie thing, I judge it not amis.
We see the seasons of the yeare, successively insue,
First nipping Winters blustring blasts, with frosts as stiffe as glue,
Then pleasant Spring with colours clad, of yellow, greene, and blue:
Next which comes ripening Summer in, and then doth follow fast,
Quicke Harvest for the husbandman, tacquite his charges past,
No time hath this prerogative, for evermore to last.
Lo thus in circle runs the yeare, with compasse round about,
And his appointed age the world, by portions weareth out.
Count what we can most excellent, needes must it have an ende,
Against decay there is no force, nor fortresse to defende.
How * many Cities stately built, of timber, lime and stone,
Are come to naught, and in their place a desert left alone?
Pompe maketh not perpetuall, although it beare a port,
A Maigame I may name it well, a pastime and a sport,
Whose glorie glides and slips away, whose pleasure is but short.
Like Plaiers in an Enterlude, upon a common stage,
One representing lustie youth, another crooked age,
One royall Principalitie, another Courtlie state,
One like a Judge doth sit on bench, another begges at gate,
Thus counterfet they all degrees, untill the play be donne:
Even so is man upon the earth, since first his stocke begonne.
For Adam, though he lived long, yet dead he was at last,
The Patriarchs and Prophets olde, their pilgrimage have past:
Kings have resigned up their crownes, and titles of their thrones,
And many a politike Governour in grave hath laid his bones,
This prove the * sundrie writings set, on their Sepulchre stones.
The wisedome of the wise is vaine, the strong mans strength a toy,
If they by them as instruments, seeke length of life tenjoy:
And as for wealth, it is but winde, for riches have no holde,

*Esaie.40,6.
Eccl.14.17.18
1.Pet.1.24.
James.1.10.
and in many
places more,
this with the
like compari-
sons are usu-
all.

*An allusion to
the consum-
mation of this
world, when
all things shal
passe away &
vanish.

*The like
speach is in
Tullies Epistles
familiar, writ-
ten by Sulpi-
cius to Cicero,
touching the
death of his
daughter Tul-
lia, wife to
Dolabella.

*Memorials
of their mor-
talitie which
sometime li-
ved in all kind
of felicitie.

The monied man must thinke to die, if once he waxeth olde.
Lo, lo, a present patterne here, all you that list to learne,
By viewing of this corps corrupt, what you shall be discearne.
Sometime he was, as others be, a quicke and living man,
But wounded with the dart of death, revive him nothing can.
His youthfull yeares, as others have, this good Esquire hath had,
And crooked age by creeping on, with weakenesse sicke and sad,
In winding sheete at head and foote, fast knit his corps hath clad.
Rich in his life, * poore at his death, a steward of the Lordes,
His talent Christianly laide out, with Gods good will accordes.
And as in thActes, Cornelius deedes, beare witnesse of his faith,
(For outwarde workes before the world, beleefe within bewraith:)
So this religious Gentleman, a Patrone to the poore,
In allies and in lanes abrode, at home in thentrie doore,
In open streete, in holie Church, in many a corners crooke,
(Where, for the poore and impotent, whom kith and kin forsooke,
With charitable zeale inflamde, this lowelie Lambe did looke,)
His almes he hath distributed, and given as he sawe neede,
Cloth for the backe, meate for the mouth, the hungrie soule to feede.
As loving as a Lambe he livd, and verifide his name,
He was an eie unto the blind, a legge unto the lame,
A comfort to the comfortles, a succour to the sicke,
A father to the fatherles, whome nipping neede did pricke,
A husband to the desolate, and widowe left alone,
A favourer and a freend to all, an enimie to none.
Now * such as had his wooll to weare, lament of him the lacke,
His flesh did fill their bellies full, his fleese kept warme their backe,
His pence and pounds preserved them, from many a wringing wracke.
No misse of mercie was in him, for jointly hart and hand,
Were pliant to supplie the wantes, of many in this land.
For this he knew, by giving them, he lent unto the Lord:
His humblenes no homelines, of sicklie soule abhord.
So that I may conclude of him, as needes conclude I must,
If workes may simply of themselves, make righteous men and just,
(Which I denie, for unto faith this office is assinde:)
Then is he sanctifide from sinne, and cleansd in hart and minde.
The fruites of faith which flourished, in him whiles he did live,
His diverse distributions, and giftes which he did give,
The monuments which he hath left, behind him being ded,
Are signes that * Christ our Shepherd hath, unto his sheepfold led,
This loving Lambe, who like a Lambe dide meekely in his bed:
His bodie buried in the ground, there to consume to dust,
His soule in Abrahams bosome restes, in quietnesse I trust:
A place allotted unto Lambs, there to possesse in peace,
Such blessings as this Lambe enjoyes, whose like the Lord increase,
For Jesus sake the spotlesse Lambe. And here my penne shall cease.

*For I have
heard it cre-
dibly repor-
ted, that he
left little or
nothing undi-
stributed.

*Poore peo-
ple shall sone
feele the losse
of this Lambe
by the lacke
of their relief.

*For Christ
will repay thee a
thousand fold,
which is gi-
ven to the suc-
courles.


As Evening shadowe slides,
And Seas do varie tides,
So all the pranking prides,
Of worldlie glorie glides:
Gods worde, the guide of guides,
For evermore abides.
Imprinted at London by Henrie Denham, for Thomas Turner,
and are to be solde at his shop at Guild-hall gate.

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