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bear by san

March 2017



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bear by san

Age and treachery, youth and skill

Thomas Campion

Though you are yoong and I am olde,
Though your vaines hot, and my bloud colde,
Though youth is moist, and age is drie,
Yet embers liue, when flames doe die.

The tender graft is easely broke,
But who shall shake the sturdie Oke?
You are more fresh and faire then I,
Yet stubs doe liue when flowers doe die.

Thou that thy youth doest vainely boast,
Know buds are soonest nipt with frost,
Thinke that thy fortune still doth crie,
Thou foole, to-morrow thou must die.

William Shakespeare

Ah! wherefore with infection should he live,
And with his presence grace impiety,
That sin by him advantage should achieve,
And lace itself with his society?
Why should false painting imitate his cheek,
And steel dead seeming of his living hue?
Why should poor beauty indirectly seek
Roses of shadow, since his rose is true?
Why should he live, now Nature bankrupt is,
Beggar'd of blood to blush through lively veins?
For she hath no exchequer now but his,
And proud of many, lives upon his gains.
O! him she stores, to show what wealth she had
In days long since, before these last so bad.

Really. Somebody's a little more at home with his mortality than somebody else, I'd say.

Also, how the hell did I manage to miss this all these years?

In me thou see'st the glowing of such fire,
That on the ashes of his youth doth lie,
As the death-bed, whereon it must expire,
Consum'd with that which it was nourish'd by.

That thing Tim Powers talks about, where you start rooting around in history trying to find material with which to make stuff up and wind up half-convinced you've uncovered a vast conspiracy? It's so bloody true.

It's a good thing I put elves in mine, or I'd be convinced by now. (This is how conspiracy theorists are born. Well, that and the uneasy suspicion that between them, Francis Walsingham and Robert Cecil were really the instigators of every assassination attempt they allegedly foiled for a good fifty years.)

* Yeah, yeah, everybody in period from Marlowe to Descartes. I'm sure it's just because they all had syphilis. It's still creepy at 7 am.

Incidentally, does anybody know who the subject of Campion's Arthur epigram is? Google is less than helpful with that, though it's giving me creepy sonnets galore.

Camelot project, previously linked but worth rolling in some more.

Memo to me: read The Misfortunes of Arthur Dude, it's got an Angharad in it.



When was it written?

(Great on the literature, fucking lousy on the history.)

Because it's the sort of thing that got written about Prince Henry a lot. Before he died.
I was thinking Henry. But I can't find a damned date either.
Must've been James I, given the dates, and the fact that his coming to the throne was generally celebrated in this sort of terms.

Two Wiki entries (with dates) on Campion's role in the murder of Thomas Overbury. Besides the point, but worth taking a look, I think.
Yeah, that's why he's on my research list for the Jonson book. Well, that and I bet he drove Ben batfuck, with the medical degree and the 9/10th of a law degree and the songs and the poetry and....

Poor Ben.
Do you have a firm date for the poem? Because it could have been Henry as well.
Henry VIII died in 1547. Campion was born in 1567.
That would be Prince Henry Stuart, James' older son, who was much feted as a return to the glorious English kings of old. Until he died. *Plop.*

;-) I'm pretty good on the death dates of Tudor and early-Stuart monarchs and poets.
See below. Abject apologies. Haven't woken up yet, really.
Argh. Argh. I'm stupid. Prince Henry. He did write songs on the untimely death of the prince, so the epigram might have been dedicated to him. But then the wielding of Britain's state would seem to be more appropriate to someone actually on the throne, no?
I can speculate endlessly. I'm looking for actual data... because, as I said, I can't turn anything up on Google and there are a bunch of ren-lit people who read this thing.
... his coming to the throne was generally celebrated in this sort of terms.

Okay, I'm curious. Can you give some examples?
I love Tim's technical term for this: "Stuff too cool not to use." :-)
Amen, sister.
That thing Tim Powers talks about, where you start rooting around in history trying to find material with which to make stuff up and wind up half-convinced you've uncovered a vast conspiracy? It's so bloody true.

Oh yes. Things just shouldn't fall in that easily. It ought to be much harder. Either that or I understood Norden history much better than I thought starting out.

It always does that.

Like that Robert Catesby thing I mentioned in the Gunpowder Treason post, where it turns up he was everywhere, alla time.

History is creepy.
According to Professor Johann P. Sommerville of the University of Wisconsin, it's James I.

(I found this using the http://a9.com/ search engine, which I like quite a lot for obscure references!)
Campion (in part from his birth year, consonance of digitry, and all) is a personal favorite off mine. Him and Nashe.

Then again, I like the period, and while Billy is a swell guy (who got all the best lines) the supporting players weren't slouches; they just suffer from the Salieri problem. They were head and shoulders above the mean, but there was a giant in their midst.

Marlowe was better, year for year, until he died.

But I feel particularly bad for Ben; a genius who had the ill luck to be just a little older than Marlowe and Shakespeare and a tad older than Milton and Donne.

Ben did not suck.

Poor Ben

I like Nashe too. Funny guy. *g*
Yeah, (why this is hell, nor am I out of it, etc.) but he died.

One wonders how we would see the age, if Shakespeare had been a glover.