An Epitaph of Maister Henry Williams by Thomas Norton

From worldly wo the mede of misbelefe,
From cause of care that leadeth to lament,
From vaine delight the grounde of greater grefe,
From feare for frendes, from matter to repent,
From painefull pangs last sorowe that is sent,
From dred of death sith death doth set us free:
With it the better pleased should we be.
This lothsome life where likyng we do finde,
Thencreaser of our crimes, doth us bereve
Our blisse that alway ought to be in minde.
This wily world whiles here we breath alive,
And flesh our fayned fo, do stifly strive
To flatter us assuryng here the ioy,
Where we, alas, do finde but great annoye.
Untolde heapes though we have of worldly wealth,
Though we possesse the sea and frutefull ground,
Strength, beauty, knowledge, and unharmed health,
Though at a wish all pleasure do abound.
It were but vaine, no frendship can be found,
When death assalteth with his dredfull dart
No raunsom can stay the home hastyng hart.
And sith thou cut the lives line in twaine,
Of Henry, sonne to sir John Williams knight,
Whose manly hart and prowes none could staine.
Whose godly life to vertue was our light,
Whose worthy fame shall florish long by right.
Though in this life so cruell mightest thou be,
His spirite in heaven shall triumph over thee.

From: Holton, Amanda and MacFaul, Tom (eds.), Tottel’s Miscellany. Songs and Sonnets of Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, Sir Thomas Wyatt and Others, 2011, Penguin: London, pp. [unnumbered].

Date: 1557

By: Thomas Norton (1532-1584)


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: