An Elegy on my Brother, Killed in these Unhappy Wars


Dear Brother,2
.                          Thy idea in my mind doth lie,
And is intombed in my sad memory,
Where every day I to thy shrine do go,
And offer tears, which from my3 eyes do flow.
My heart the fire, whose flames are ever pure,                    5
Shall4 on Love’s altar last, till life endure.
My sorrows incense strew of sighs fetched deep;
My thoughts do watch while thy5 sweet spirit sleeps.6
Dear blessèd soul, though thou art gone, yet lives
Thy fame on earth, and men7 thee praises give.8               10
But all’s too small, for thy heroic mind
Was above all the praises of mankind.


  1. on my Brother, Killed in these Unhappy Wars] upon the Death of my Brother. 1664; upon the Death of my Brother. 1668
    Whitaker argues that this poem is not simply a private expression of grief, but “a piece of public poetry, for [Cavendish’s brother] Sir Charles Lucas was a well-known royalist martyr”; see Mad Madge, 146.
  2. Dear Brother, [line break] ] DEare Brother, [no line break] 1653
  3. my] mine 1664, 1668
  4. Shall] Laid 1653
  5. thy] they 1653
  6. sweet spirit sleeps.] dear Ashes sleep; 1664: dear Ashes sleep. 1668
  7. men] Man 1664, 1668
  8. give.] gives: 1664, 1668