Anno ætatis 17. In obitum
Præsulis Eliensis.

Adhuc madentes rore squalebant genæ,
Et sicca nondum lumina;
Adhuc liquentis imbre turgebant salis,
Quem nuper effudi pius,
Dum mæsta charo justa persolvi rogo [ 5 ]
Wintoniensis præsulis.
Cum centilinguis Fama (proh semper mali
Cladisque vera nuntia)
Spargit per urbes divitis Britanniæ,
Populosque Neptuno satos, [ 10 ]
Cessisse morti, & ferreis sororibus
Te generis humani decus,
Qui rex sacrorum illâ fuisti in insulâ
Quæ nomen Anguillæ tenet.
Tunc inquietum pectus irá protinus [ 15 ]
Ebulliebat fervidâ,
Tumulis potentem sæpe devovens deam:
Nec vota Naso in Ibida
Concepit alto diriora pectore,
Graiusque vates parciùs [ 20 ]
Turpem Lycambis execratus est dolum,
Sponsamque Neobolen suam.
At ecce diras ipse dum fundo graves,
Et imprecor neci necem,
Audisse tales videor attonitus sonos [ 25 ]
Leni, sub aurâ, flamine:
Cæcos furores pone, pone vitream
Bilemque & irritas minas,
Quid temerè violas non nocenda numina,
Subitoque ad iras percita. [ 30 ]
Non est, ut arbitraris elusus miser,
Mors atra Noctis filia,
Erebóve patre creta, sive Erinnye,
Vastóve nata sub Chao:
Ast illa cælo missa stellato, Dei [ 35 ]
Messes ubique colligit;
Animasque mole carneâ reconditas
In lucem & auras evocat:
Ut cum fugaces excitant Horæ diem
Themidos Jovisque filiæ; [ 40 ]
Et sempiterni ducit ad vultus patris;
At justa raptat impios
Sub regna furvi luctuosa Tartari,
Sedesque subterraneas
Hanc ut vocantem lætus audivi, citò [ 45 ]
Fœdum reliqui carcerem,
Volatilesque faustus inter milites
Ad astra sublimis feror:
Vates ut olim raptus ad cœlum senex
Auriga currus ignei, [ 50 ]
Non me Boötis terruere lucidi
Sarraca tarda frigore, aut
Formidolosi Scorpionis brachia,
Non ensis Orion tuus.
Prætervolavi fulgidi solis globum, [ 55 ]
Longéque sub pedibus deam
Vidi triformem, dum coercebat suos
Frænis dracones aureis.
Erraticorum syderum per ordines,
Per lacteas vehor plagas, [ 60 ]
Velocitatem sæpe miratus novam,
Donec nitentes ad fores
Ventum est Olympi, & regiam Chrystallinam, &
Stratum smaragdis Atrium.
Sed hic tacebo, nam quis effari queat [ 65 ]
Oriundus humano patre
Amœnitates illius loci, mihi
Sat est in æternum frui.

At Age 17. On the Death
of the Bishop of Ely

My cheeks were still wet and stained with weeping, and my eyes, not yet dry, were swollen from the flood of briny tears which I in duty shed, rendering sad tribute over the bier of the esteemed Bishop of Winchester, when hundred-tongued Fame — alas! ever a true messenger of evil and misfortune — spread through the cities of rich Britain, and among the people sprung from Neptune, the news that you, an honor to mankind and chief of the saints in the isle that bears the name of Ely, have yielded to Death and the fatal sisters. Then forthwith hot anger surged in my troubled breast, and often I cursed the powerful goddess of the grave; nor did Naso deep in his heart conceive curses more horrible in his Ibis; and more sparingly did the Greek curse the treachery of Lycambes and Neobule his betrothed. But lo! while I was uttering these bitter execrations, and invoking destruction upon the destroyer, astonished I seemed to hear these sounds borne on a gentle air beneath the breeze:

"Put away blind wrath, put away vain anger, and impotent threats. Why do you rashly profane powers that cannot be injured, but which may be suddenly moved to anger? Death is not, as you think, deluded wretch, the black daughter of Night, nor of Erebus, nor of Erinys below in vast Chaos. She has been sent from the starry heavens to gather throughout the world the harvests of God. She calls forth into the light and the air the souls that are hidden by the body — even as when the fleeting Hours, daughters of Themis and Jove, call forth the day. The righteous she leads before the face of the eternal Father, but the wicked she justly hurries away to the mournful realm of gloomy Tartarus, to abodes beneath the earth. I rejoiced when I heard her call; quickly I left my foul prison, and amid winged soldiery was happily borne to the stars on high, as long ago the aged prophet was snatched up into heaven with a chariot of fire and a charioteer. The wain of bright Boötes, slow with cold, terrified me not, nor the claws of the terrible Scorpion, nor your sword, Orion. I flew beyond the orb of the gleaming sun, and far beneath my feet saw the triform goddess as with golden reins she checked her dragons. Through the ranks of the wandering stars, and through the Milky Way I was borne, often wondering at my unheard-of speed, until I came to the shining gates of Olympus, and the crystalline palace, and the court paved with jasper. But here I shall be silent; for who that is born of mortal father can tell the pleasures of this place? It is enough for me to enjoy them forever."