Excellent Epitaph, An

Howard, Henry, Earl of Surrey; Anon

AComD1-3: 26054
STC 26054
Ringler 26054, TP 2319 (=TM 2021), TP 2163 and TP 1208. TP 2319 (=Rollins 31) ptd. from STC 26054 in Rollins, ed. _Tottel_, 2 (1929), 155. This text is also found in Tottel's _Songes and Sonettes_ (1557), sig. D2v; and in London, British Library, Harley 78, fol. 15v. UMI microfilm reel 303

An excellent epitaffe of syr Thomas wyat, with two other dytties, [upon] the state of mannes lyfe
London: John Herforde for Robert Toye,1545?.

Variant source 1: T. Berthelet, 1547 (STC 6920). Variant source 2: R. Tottel, 1557 [5 June] (STC 13860). Variant source 3: London, British Library, Harley 78, fol. 15v (=Harl).

Composition Date: 1545? [STC].

sig: A1

¶An excellent Epitaffe of syr Thomas_wyat, with two other compendious dytties, wherin are touchyd, and set furth the state of mannes lyfe.

WYat resteth here, that quicke coulde neuer rest.
Whose heuenly gyftes, encreased by dysdayne
And vertue sanke, the deper in his brest
Suche profyte he, of enuy could optayne

5 ¶A Head, where wysdom mysteries dyd frame
Whose hammers beat styll in that lyuely brayne
As on a styth, where some worke of Fame
Was dayly wrought, to turn to Brytayns gaine

¶A Uysage sterne and mylde, where both dyd groo
10 Uyce to contempne, in vertues to reioyce
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Amyd great stormes, whome grace assured so
To lyue vprighte and smyle at fortunes choyse.

¶A Hand that taught what might be saide in rime
That refte Chaucer, the glorye of his wytte
15 A marke, the whiche [(]vnperfited for tyme) (] 1545 omits, ( 1557
Some may approche but neuer none shall hyt.

¶A Tonge, that serued in foraine realmes his king
Whose curtoise talke, to vertu dyd enflame.
Eche noble harte a worthy guyde to brynge
20 Our Englysshe youth, by trauayle vnto fame.

¶An Eye, whose iudgement, no affect coulde blind
Frendes to allure, and foes to reconcyle
Whose pearcynge looke, dyd represent a mynde.
With vertue fraught, reposed, voyde of gyle.

25 ¶A Harte, where drede yet neuer so imprest yet neuer so imprest] was neuer so imprest 1557, yet neuer so opprest Harl
To hide the thought þ a t might the trouth auaunce
In neyther fortune lyfte nor so represt In neyther fortune lyfte nor so represt] In neyther fortune lost, nor yet represt 1557, In nether fortune lyste nor sor e opprest Harl
To swell in welth, nor yelde vnto mischaunce

¶A valiaunt Corps, where force and beautye met
30 Happy, alas, to happy but for foos.
Lyued, and ran the race that nature set
Of manhodes shape, where she the mold did loos

¶But to the heauens that symple soule is fleed.
Which lefte with such, as couet Christe to knowe
35 Witnes of faith that neuer shalbe deade
Sent for our welth, but not receiued so welth] helth 1557, welthe Harl
Thus for our gylt, this iewell haue we lost
The earth his bones, the heuen possesse his goost


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¶The myrroure or Glasse of Fortune.

WHan fortune fauoureth and setteth a_lofte
In hye estate man for to raigne
Then all men cometh to him full ofte
And couey[t]sletter illegible with him, for to remaine
5 His company none will disdaine,
Thus frendes he getteth, many a one
But if he fall, I saye certaine.
Of all his frendes then hath he none.

Whan he doth rule him they obeye
10 And serue him styll, at all assayes
Attentifely, without delaye.
Great paines they take, both nightes and dayes
With all their power him for to please
Thus frendes he getteth many a one
15 But if he fall they turne theyr wayes.
Of all his frendes then hath he none.

¶As longe as he, is in his welth
Nothinge to him than shall be deare.
In his estate, haue he his helth
20 All honour to him than shall appeare
Of most and lest, both farre and nere
Thus frendes he getteth many one
But if he fall, than euerye-where,
Of al his frendes, than hath he none.

25 ¶Man thus a_loft, knoweth not his frende.
For all men than, to him applye
Shewynge them-selues, to him moste kynde.
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As though they wolde both lyue and dye
At his byddynge alway readye,
30 Thus frendes he getteth many a one
But if he fall they hym denye
Of all his frendes, than hath he none.

¶In his estate they wyll ensewe
To folowe him all that they may
35 In right or wronge, false or trewe
Hys wyll truely, none will gaynesaye
Though by and by they hym bewraye
Suche fayned frendes, be many one
And if he fall they him denaye
40 Of all his frendes, than hath he none.

¶Whan fortune on the dothe laugh or smyle
Geuynge the greate possessyon
Be lowly and gentle all the whyle
Thinking on her progression
45 Some she exalteth, some by suppression
Falleth vnder-fote, as doth manye one
So turneth the whele, without intercession
Some to good chaunce, annd some to none.

¶Whan thou art downe, farewell a_dew
50 No more seruyce, thou hast at all
Whan broken is thy retinew
On thy name than no man wyll call
Disdaynfull wordes on the go shall
Foes thou shalt haue, many a one
55 Which wyll reioyce, at thy great fall
Of all thy frendes, than hast thou none.

¶Thus vnder-fote whan thou arte brought
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Whom thou doost fauour moost of all
By the truly wyll set right nought
60 Scant a good worde gyue the he shall
Unmyndfull how beneficiall
Thou wast than to many a one
And whan thy dignitie doth fall
Of all thy frendes, than hast thou none.

65 ¶Thus fareth the worlde, both to and fro
Whan man is in aduersitie
Who is he than, that wyll him knowe
Or helpe him in extremitie
Whan he is stricke, without pitie
70 With the foule darte, of cruell disdayne
None than on him shall haue mercy
Lye he in wo, pynynge in payne.


A compendious dittie wherin is touched the state of mans lyfe,

NO wyght in this world, that welth can attayne
Onelesse he beleue, that all is but vayne
And loke how it cometh, so leaue it to go
As tydes vse theyr tymes, to ebbe and to flo,
5 This mucke on the molde, that men so desyre
Doth worke them much wo, and moueth them to yre
With grefe it is gotte, with care it is kepte
With sorowe sone lost, that longe hath ben repte
And wo worth that man, that first dolue the moulde
10 To fynde out the myne, of syluer and golde
For whan it lay hyd, and to vs vnknowen
Of stryfe and debate, the sede was not sowen
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Than lyued m[e]n wel and helde them content men] man 1545, men 1547
With meate, drynke and cloth without any rente
15 Theyr houses but poore to shroude them-selues in
For castels and towres, were than to begine
No towne had his wall, they feared no warre
Nor ennemies hoste to seke them afarre
So ledde they their lyues in quiete and reste
20 Tyll hourde began hate from East vnto west
And golde for to growe a lorde of great pryce
Which chaunged the worlde from vertue to vyce
And turned all-thinge so farre from his kynde
That howe it shulde be, is worne out of mynde
25 For rychesse beareth nowe the fame and the brute
And onelye the cause of all our pursute.
Which maketh among vs muche mischief to reigne
And shall tyll we seke the right waye agayne
Whan mariage was made for vertue and loue,
30 Then was no diuorse goddes knotte to remoue,
Whan iudges wolde suffer no brybes in theyr syghte,
Their iudgementes was than according to right
Whan prelates had not possessions nor rent
They preached the truthe and truelye they wente
35 Whan men dyd not flatter for fauoure nor mede,
Than kinges herd the truth, and how the world yede
And men vnto honour through vertue did rise
But all this is turned contrarywise is turned] is nowe tourned 1547
For money maketh all, and ruleth as a god
40 Which ought not to be, for Christ it forbod
And bad that we shulde take nothynge in hand
But for the lordes loue, and welth of the lande
And willes vs full ofte, that we shulde refraine
From wrastynge his wil, to make our owne gaine,
45 For couetous folke of euery astate
As hardely shall enter within heauen-gate
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As through a nedles eye a camell to crepe
Why do these madde-men then hourde vp and kepe,
Ye more then maie serue them-selues to suffice
50 As though perfecte blysse shulde that waye arise
But if they wolde suffer to sinke in their brest
What trouble of mynde what vnquiete reste
What myschiefe, what hate this mony dothe bringe,
They woulde not so toyle for so vyle a thinge
55 For they that haue much, are euer in care
Whiche waie to wynne, and how for to spare
Theyr slepes be vnsounde for feare of the theefe
The losse of a littell doth worke them much grefe
In sekyng theyr lacke they want that they haue
60 And subiecte to that which shuld be their slaue
They neuer doo knowe, whyles ryches doth reygne ryches] rychesse 1547
A frende of effecte from him that doth [f]eygne feygne] seygne 1545, feigne 1547
For flatterers seeke where fortune doth dwell
And whan that she lowreth, they byd them farewel
65 The poore doth them curse as ofte as they want
In hauyng so much to make it so scant
Theyr children somtymes do wysshe them in graue
That they myght possesse that rychesse they haue
And that which they wyne with trauayle and stryfe
70 Oftentymes (as we se) doth cost them theyr lyfe
Lo these be the fruites that rychesse bryngeth forth
With many other mo, whiche be no more worth
For monie is cause of murder and thefte
Of bataile and bloudshed, which wold god were left
75 Of rauyne, of wronge, of false witnesse-bearyng
Of treason conspired, and eke of forswearynge.
And for to be shorte and knyt vp the knot
Fewe mischeues at all that money makethe not.
But though it be yll, whan it is abused,
80 Yet neuertheles it may be well vsed.
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Nor I do not fynde that men be denyde
Of sufficient thynges them-selues to prouyde,
Accordynge as god hath put them in place,
To haue and to holde a tyme and space:
85 So it be well wonne and after well spent:
For it is not theirs, but for that intent,
And if they so do, than it is good skyll,
They haue that is mete to vse at their will
As priestes shuld not take promocions in hande
90 To lyue at their ease lyke lordes of the lande
But onely to feade gods flocke with the truth
To preache and to teache without any slouth
Nor folkes shulde not neade great ryches to wynne ryches] rychesse 1547
But godly to lyue and for to flee synne
95 Hys wyll for to worke that is theyr soules helth
And than may they thynke, they lyue in much welth
For in this vayne worlde that we be nowe in
Is nothynge but misery, myschefe and synne
Temptation, vntrouthe, contencion, and strife
100 Than lette vs nat sette by so vyle a lyfe
But lyfte vp our eyes, and loke throughe our faythe
Beholdynge his mercies, that many tymes saithe
The iuste men shall lyue by theyr good belefe
And shall haue a place where can be no grefe
105 But gladnesse and myrth that none can amende
Unspeakable ioyes, whiche neuer shall ende
With pleasures that passe all that we haue sought
Felicities such as can not be thought
Whiche place they shall haue, that his wyll intendes
110 With lyfe euerlastynge, and thus my tale endes.
Viuit post funera uirtus.
¶Imprynted at London by Iohn_Herforde for Roberte_Toye.