Fitzgeffrey, who proceeded M.A. at Oxford on July 4, 1600, was already the author of a poem on Sir Francis Drake. (He got a favourable nod for it from Meres in Palladis Tamia - "yong Charles Fitz-Ieffrey, that high-touring falcon.") He seems to have been part of an Oxford-based literary circle as a young man, although in later life he took holy orders. His literary friends included the Mychelbourne brothers, William Vaughan, John Davies of Hereford and Robert Hayman. (Incidentally, does anyone know of any other literary figure of 1590s London apart from Hayman to die and be buried in the new world? For his verse, click here.)
The translation below is my own, done with the aid of a good dictionary, a bad memory and a great deal of cribbing from the translation appearing in Nicholl's A Cup of News. For a better one try:
|Quum Mors edictum Iovis imperiale secuta
Vitales Nashi extingueret atra faces;
Armatum iuveni linguam calamumque tremendum
(Fulmina bina) prius insidiosa rapit,
Mox illum aggreditur nudum atque invadit inermem
Atque ita de victo vate trophaea refert.
Cui si vel calamus praesto vel lingua fuisset,
Ipsa quidem metuit mors truculenta mori.
|When dismal Death, carrying out Jove's imperial edict
Puts out Nashe's vital fire;
The young man's armed tongue and his terrible pen
- Those twin thunderbolts - he first sneakily takes away.
Then he rushes in and overruns the naked unarmed man
And comes back triumphant, the poet beaten.
Who, if he'd had either his pen or tongue at command
Would have put the fear of death into Death itself.