In Obitam Magistri Bright

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. I make no claim to be an expert on Latin and so the translation is not guaranteed to be completely accurate, but I believe I have at least the general sense of the original:

In Obitam Magistri Bright M.A. Nuperi Tutoris mei Charissimi. Concerning the death of Master Bright MA, lately my beloved tutor.
Solve parentales ritus, & justa respende You release parental ceremonies, & properly pay
Justo funde suo carmina musapatri His rightful estate you make verses a father muse
Intima cui pietas, quæ summa fronte decora You tell all that responsibility, which total noble countenance
Sinceri cordis linguaqȜ promus erat: And of genuine tongue was the steward:
Quo fervor, candorq; animi,discordia concors, What passion, and radiance; intellect, disagreeing agreeing,
Tyndaride fratres consociaremanus, You are being joined in hand with Northumberland brothers
Nonvacat ignavus Genio, qui munera plura, By no means Genius idles spiritless, you who gives too much,
Qua totum poscunt singula, solus obit; Who one and all ask, dies alone;
Nec satis est lucere diem, nox multa relucet, Nor enough is day to shine, night shines out intensely.
Contentus minima nocte Britannus erat Least pleased was Britons night
Dumq; alio lucem vivras, ardentior ignis, And while elsewhere you brandish light, brilliant fire,
(Ut pellas cæcis pectoribus tenebras) (While you should banish night to blind feeling)
Hen ! oleum citius periit, in nocte sepulius: Behold! oil has too swiftly perished, buried in night
Sin oleum perdas, nil opera periit; But if oil you must destroy, no work it has destroyed;
Sed tibi longa quies fesso, fortiq ; triumphas, But you long rest wearied and steadfast; you triumph over
Sementiq; gravimessis erit gravida. Sowing and weighted down with burdensome reaping.
Splen ridere facit, te nunc gaudere, sed ad nos It will make you shine, you now rejoice ; but until we
Decendis morbus, splenq ; dolere facit. Become ill, and we shine; it causes grief.
Catera dum solvit, quæ debet, mæsta carnæna, Until it releases, all are destined for the grave, the gloomy charnel-house,
Solvitur in luctus. Is opened in the midst of sorrow.
Rob. Alfounder. M.A. Col. Em. Sec. Rob. Alfounder MA, Secretary Emmanuel College

The next page, headed In Eundem (On the same), contains another elegy, this one in English:

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 and last updated 8 October 2014