How shall I then begin, or where conclude
To draw a fame so truly circular?
For in a round what order can be shewed,
Where all the parts so equal perfect are?
His grandeur he derived from heaven alone,
For he was great ere fortune made him so;
And war’s like mists that rise against the sun
Made him but greater seem, not greater grow.
No borrowed bays his temples did adorn,
But to our crown he did fresh jewels bring,
Nor was his virtue poisoned soon as born
With the too early thoughts of being king.
Fortune (that easy mistress of the young
But to her ancient servants coy and hard)
Him at that age her favourites ranked among
When she her best-loved Pompey did discard.
He private marked the faults of others’ sway,
And set as sea-marks for himself to shun;
Not like rash monarchs who their youth betray
By acts their age too late would wish undone.