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Thy Lord shall never die, the whiles this verse Shall live, and surely it shall live for ever: For ever it shall live, and shall rehearse His worthie praise, and vertues dying never, Though death his foule doo from his bodie fever; And thou thy felfe herein shalt also live; Such grace
the heavens doo to my verses give.
“ Ne shall bis Sister, ne thy Father die,
Have purchast him in heaven an happie crowne: Where he now liveth in eternall blis, 265 And left his sonne t' ensue those steps of his,
“ He, noble Bud, his Grandfires livelie hayre,
his Sister,] Lady Mary Sidney. OLDYS. Ver. 261.
that goud Earle &c.] This Earl of Bedford died in 1585. TODD.
Ver. 267. He, noble Bud, &c.] Edward Lord Ruffel, grandson of Francis Earl of Bedford, succeeded in the Earldom; his father Francis having been lain by the Scots. OLDYS.
“ Ne may I let thy husbands Sister die,
“ Moft gentle spirite breathed from above,
“ His blessed fpirite, full of power divine
Ver. 275. That goodly Ladie, &c.] Lady Mary Sidney, mother of Sir Philip Sidney and the Countess of Pembroke.
OLDYS. Ver. 285.
that noble breast of his] Sir Philip Sidney. OLDYS.
Yet, ere his happie foule to heaven went 295
“O noble spirite, live there ever blessed,
“ Yet, whileft the Fates affoord me vitall breath,
earthlie daies :
Ver. 297. Unto his heavenlie Maker to present
His bodie as a Spotles facriffe;] Taken from St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans, xii. 1. TODD.
56 Then will I fing; but who can better sing 316
feeble spright 320 Robbed of sense, and ravished with ioy, O sad ioy made of mourning and anoy !
“ Yet will I sing; but who can better sing Than thou thy felfe, thine owne felfes valiance, That, whilst thou livedst, madest the forrests ring,
but who can better fing, Than thine owne Sister, &c.] Mary, Countess of Pembroke. She translated, from the French, Philip Mornay's Discourse of Life and Death; and also The Tragedie of Antonie. But her greatest work, says Granger, (Biog. Hift. James I. Class IX.) was a Translation of the Psalms, which is said to be preserved in manuscript in the library at Wilton, and in which she is supposed to have been aflifted by Dr. Babington, afterwards bishop of Worcester, who was chaplain in her family, A. Wood's account of this Translation is different ; for he afcribes it to Sir P. Sidney. However, she was addressed on this subject by a profesed poet, such as he was, of her own time: the following work being dedicated to her : “ The Counteffe of Pembrokes Emanuel. Conteining the Natiuity, Paffion, Buriall, and Resurrection of Christ: togeather with certaine Psalmes of Dauid. All in English Hexameters. By Abraham Fravnce. Impr. at London, &c. 1591." The same versifier has dedicated other compositions to this Countefs.
TODD. but who can better png Than thou thy felfe, &c.] Sidney is undoubtedly often elegauit, lively, and impreslive as a poet. His romance, entitled The Countess of Pembroke's Arcadia, which is alluded to in the latter part of this Itanza, had been lately published, (the first edition having been printed in 1590,) and had been received with uncommon satisfaction. I have seen the fourteenth edition of this voluminous romance; into which indeed
And fields resownd, and flockes to leap and daunce,
326 And shepheards leave their lambs unto mif
chaunce, To runne thy shrill Arcadian Pipe to heare: O happie were those dayes, thrice happie were !
“ But now more happie thou, and wretched wee,
56 So there thou livest, singing evermore,