Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey


Wresteth here that quick could never rest

    W resteth here that quick could never rest,
    Whose heavenly gifts encreased by disdain
    And virtue sank the deeper in his breast,
    Such profit he by envy could obtain.
5   A head where wisdom mysteries did frame,
    Whose hammers beat still in that lively brain
    As on a stithy where that some work of fame
    Was daily wrought to turn to Britain’s gain.
    A visage stern and mild, where both did grow
10   Vice to contemn, in virtue to rejoice;
    Amid great storms whom grace assured so
    To live upright and smile at fortune’s choice.
    A hand that taught what might be said in rhyme,
    That reft Chaucer the glory of his wit;
15   A mark the which unparfited for time,
    Some may approach but never none shall hit.
    A tongue that served in foreign realms his king;
    Whose courteous talk to virtue did enflame
    Each noble heart, a worthy guide to bring
20   Our English youth by travail unto fame.
    An eye whose judgement none affect could blind,
    Friends to allure and foes to reconcile,
    Whose piercing look did represent a mind
    With virtue fraught, reposed, void of guile.
25   A heart where dread was never so impressed
    To hide the thought that might the truth advance;
    In neither fortune loft nor yet repressed
    To swell in wealth or yield unto mischance.
    A valiant corps, where force and beauty met;
30   Happy, alas, too happy but for foes;
    Lived and ran the race that nature set
    Of manhood’s shape where she the mould did lose.
    But to the heavens that simple soul is fled,
    Which left with such as covet Christ to know
35   Witness of faith that never shall be dead,
    Sent for our health but not received so.
    Thus, for our guilt this jewel have we lost.
    The earth his bones, the heavens possess his ghost.

Contributed by Robert Clark.