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On Margaret Ratcliffe

Written by: Ben Jonson | Biography
 | Quotes (14) |


XL. ? ON MARGARET RATCLIFFE.  

M arble, weep, for thou dost cover
A dead beauty underneath thee,
R ich as nature could bequeath thee :
G rant then, no rude hand remove her.
A ll the gazers on the skies
R ead not in fair heaven's story,
E xpresser truth, or truer glory,
T han they might in her bright eyes.

R are as wonder was her wit ;
A nd, like nectar, ever flowing :
T ill time, strong by her bestowing,
C onquer'd hath both life and it ;
L ife, whose grief was out of fashion
I n these times.  Few so have rued
F ate in a brother.  To conclude,
F or wit, feature, and true passion,
E arth, thou hast not such another.


[ AJ Note:
   Margaret Ratcliffe was one of Queen Elizabeth's
   ladies-in-waiting. She wasted away from grief in
   November 1599, after long mourning the deaths
   of four of her brothers. ]





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