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In Obitam Magistri Bright

By Robert Alfounder, Dedham pedigree.

Edward Bright MA died in 1656. Robert Alfounder, to whom Edward Bright had been a tutor at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, wrote some elegies which were read at the funeral on 23 December and published by Samuel Jacombe (1657).

Moses his Death: Opened and applyed, in a SERMON At Christ-Church in London, Decemb. 23 MDCLVI. at the FUNERAL of Mr. Edward Bright, M. A. Fellow of Emmanuel Colledge in Cambridge, and Minister of the Gospel there. By Samuel Jacombe M.A. Fellow of Queens Colledge in Cambridge, and Pastor of Mary Woolnoth, Lombardstreet, London. With some ELEGIES.

On page 34 there is an elegy in Latin by Robert Alfounder, headed "In Obitam Magistri Bright M. A. Nuper Tutoris mai Charissimi." (On the death of master Bright MA recently my beloved tutor). Unfortunately, the text is largely obscured by bleed-through of the writing on the other side of the page. It begins "Solve parentales ritus" (release parental ceremony) and ends "Solvitur in luctus" (frees as grief). On the copy I have, apart from a few letters at the start of each line, the rest of the text is illegible. The next page, headed In Eundem (On the same) contains an elegy from Robert Alfounder in English, this being clearly legible:

A Writ of ease so soon, and dost thou turn
Thy vocal Pulpit to thy silent Urne?
No sooner watch-man, but with sleep opprest?
Thou went'st not there to labour, but to rest.
Wee often finde that plants upon remove,
By their new welcome thrive, and fruitful prove:
But thou transplanted soon decayest; wee see
Death with his Spade and Mattock fells the Tree.
No, 'tis remov'd: this Tree of Knowledge is
But hence transplanted into Paradise.
If any wonder at thy shorter day,
That night treads on the heels of noon; wee'l say
Thou rann'st the faster to have wonn so soon,
Thou wroughtst the harder, to have done by noon.
Such Lamps as are not niggards of their light,
Soon spend their Oyle, and bid the world good night.
Wee'l not compute thy time by daies and years,
But by thy labours, then thine age appears
Double: let actions bee the Sands that run,
And then thy glass runs long, when much is done.
But fate, what makes thee hard to us? alas
Thou needs not shake or break the Pulpit Glasse.
Is this thy cunning there to send the stone,
Where it may hit a multitude in one?
Are Pulpits Butts, because they stand so high?
Preachers the marks, at which thou lettest flye?
And is the Lawrel that was counted free
Now sooner struck, than any other tree?
Wee see; when sentence is pronounc'd by fate
Then Beneficium Cleri's out of date.


Beneficium Cleri — clerical service
Idem. — The same (author)

Transcribed by Peter Alefounder
added to web site May 2010