Aan Elegie On Dr. Ravis, Bishop Of London

When I past Paul's, and travell'd in that vvalke
Where all our Britaine sinners svveare and talk,
And then beheld the body of my Lord
Trood under foote by vice that lie abhorr'd,
It wounded me, the Landlord of all times
Should let long lives and leases to their crimes,
And to his springing honour did afford
Scarce soe much time as to the prophet's gourd.
Yet, since swift flights of vertue have apt ends,
Like breath of angels, which a blessing sends,
And vanisheth withall, whilst fouler deeds
Expect a tedious harvest for bad seeds;
I blame not fame and nature if they gave,
Where they could give no more, their last, a grave.
And wisely doe thy grieved friends forbeare
Bubbles and alabaster boyes to reare
On thy religious dust ; for men did know
Thy life, which such illusion cannot show;
For thou hast trod among those happy ones
Who trust not in their superscriptions,
Their hired epitaphs, and perjured stone,
Which oft belies the soul when she is gone;
And durst committ thy body as it lyes
To tongues of living men, nay, unborne eyes.
What profits thee a sheet of lead ? what good
If on thy corse a marble quarry stood ?
Let those that fear their rising purchase vaults,
And reare them statues to excuse their faults ;
As if, like birds that peck at painted grapes,
Their Judge knew not their persons from their shapes
Whilst thou assured, through thy easy dust
Shalt rise at first; they would not, though they must.

by Richard Corbet

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