Monday, August 20, 2018

Mildmay Fane

Mildmay Fane (c. 1600—1666) the second Earl of Westmoreland is an English poet. His collection Otia Sacra appeared in 1648. It was the first time a peer of England had published his own verse. This collection consisted of 137 poems. In 2001 another 500 poems, newly identified as his, were published. He was a close friend of Robert Herrick, who dedicated several poems to him.

Fane was made a Knight of the Bath at the Coronation of Charles I (1626). Other literary pursuits included translating the Roman poet Martial, and writing eight stage plays — one of which was composed while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London, early in the English Civil War.

A Carol [IV]

When we a gem or precious stone have lost,
-----Is not the fabric or the frame
Of fancy busied, and each thing tossed
----------And turned within the room,
--------------Till we the same
Can find again? Is't not a martyrdom?

Doth vanity affect us so, yet are
-----We slumber-charmed, nor can employ
A thought that backward might reduce, so far,
----------Lively to represent
--------------Our misery,
Who fell and thus incurred a banishment?

Shall we leave any corner reason lends
-----To give sense light, unsought, untried?
To find how far our liberty extends,
----------And how refound we were
By th' Shepherd, and by the Son of the carpenter?

May not this skill and love in him requite
-----The white and better stone to mark,
And t' raise this time above all others higher,
----------Wherein He came (through Light)
--------------Into the dark,
For to restore unto mankind its sight?

Most sure it will: and where neglect denies
-----To be observant of the day,
It proves not only forfeiture of eyes,
----------But all parts seem asleep
--------------Or gone astray—
So's the house again unbuilt, and lost the sheep.

Entry written by D.S. Martin. His latest poetry collection is Ampersand (2018, Cascade). His books are available through Amazon, and Wipf & Stock, including the anthologies The Turning Aside, and Adam, Eve, & the Riders of the Apocalypse.