Epigrams: An Epitaph on S.P.
A Child of Queen Elizabeth's Chapel
Ben Jonson, The workes of Benjamin Jonson (London: Will Stansby, 1616). STC 14751.
2 This little story:
3And know, for whom a tear you shed
4 Death's self is sorry.
5'Twas a child, that so did thrive
6 In grace and feature,
7As heaven and nature seem'd to strive
8 Which own'd the creature.
9Years he number'd scarce thirteen
10 When fates turn'd cruel,
11Yet three fill'd zodiacs had he been
12 The stage's jewel;
13And did act (what now we moan)
14 Old men so duly,
16 He play'd so truly.
17So, by error, to his fate
18 They all consented;
19But viewing him since (alas, too late)
20 They have repented;
21And have sought (to give new birth)
22 In baths to steep him;
23But being so much too good for earth,
24 Heaven vows to keep him.
1] Works 1616. S.P. was Salomon Pavy, a boy-actor in the children's company of the Queen's Revels, who played Anaides in Jonson's Cynthia's Revels. He died in 1602. Back to Line
15] Here Jonson retouches a fancy of Martial, Epig. X, 53, on Scorpus, a chariot-driver in the Circus Maximus, who in a short career won many victories (Pavy was an actor for only three years). Back to Line
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RPO poem Editors:
F. D. Hoeniger