« ZurückWeiter »
In a true piece of Wit all things must be,
Yet all things there agree; As in the ark, join'd without force or strife, All creatures dwelt; all creatures that had life:
Or, as the primitive forms of all
(If we compare great things with small)
Makes me forget, and injure you :
Correct my error with thy pen;
And, if any ask me then
ON THE DEATH OF Mr. W. HERVEY.
" Immodicis brevis est ætas, & rara senectus." Mart.
IT was a disinal and a fearful night,
light, When sleep, death's image, left my troubled breast,
By something liker death possest.
And on my soul hung the dull weight
Of some intolerable fate.
0, thou hast left me all alone!
Besieg'd around thy noble heart,
Did not with more reluctance part,
My dearest friend, would I had dy'd for thee!
If once my griefs prove tedious too.
As sullen ghosts stalk speechless by
Where their hid treasures lie; Alas! my treasure's gone! why do I stay? He was my friend, the truest friend on earth; A strong and mighty influence join'd our birth; Nor did we envy the most sounding name
By friendship given of old to fame. None but his brethren he and sisters knew,
Whom the kind youth preferr'd to me;
And ev'n in that we did agree,
Wonder'd at us from above!
But search of deep Philosophy,
Wit, Eloquence, and Poetry,
The love betwixt us two?
Or your sad branches thicker join,
And into darkesome shades combine, Dark as the grave wherein my friend is laid! Henceforth, no learned youths beneath you sing, Till all the tuneful birds to'your boughs they bring; No tuneful birds play with their wonted chear, And call the learned youths to hear;
No whistling winds through the glad branches fiy:
But all, with sad solemnity,
Mute and unmoved be,
To him my Muse made haste with every strain, Whilst it was new and warm yet from the brain : He lov'd my worthless rhymes, and, like a friend,
Would find out something to commend. Hence now, my Muse! thou canst not me delight:
Be this my latest verse,
With which I now adorn his hearse;
It rage and crackle there.
Cypress, which tombs does beautify:
Not Phæbus griev'd, so much as I,
But low and humble as his grave :
As to their chiefest seat
Conspicuous and great;
Triumphant o'er the sins of youth.
That shine with beams like flame,
Yet burn not with the same,
Knowledge he only sought, and so soon caught,
In such a short mortality.
Still did the notions throng
About his eloquent tongue, Nor could his ink flow faster than his wit. So strong a wit did Nature to him frame, As all things but his judgment overcame; His judgment like the heavenly moon did show,
Tempering that mighty sea below. Oh! had he liv'd in Learning's world, what bound
Would have been able to control
His over-powering soul ! We'ave lost in him arts that not yet are found. His mirth was the pure spirits of various wit, Yet never did his God or friends forget ; And, when deep talk and wisdom came in view,
Retir'd, and gave to them their due: For the rich help of book3 he always took,
Though his own searching mind before
Was so with notions written o'er
So many virtues join'd in him, as we
As much as they could ever teach.
And all their sacred motions steer,
Just like the first and highest sphere, Which wheels about, and turns all heaven one way, With as much zeal, devotion, piety, He always liv'd, as other saints do die. Still with his soul severe account he kept,
Weeping all debts out ere he slept:
Then down in peace and innocence he lay,
Like the sun's laborious light,
Which still in water sets at night, Unsullied with his journey of the day. Wondrous young man! why wert thou made so good, To be snatch'd hence ere better understood ? Snatch'd before half of thee enough was seen!
Thou ripe, and yet thy life but green! Nor could thy friends take their last sad farewell;
But danger and infectious death
Maliciously seiz'd on that breath
The place now only free from those.
And, wheresoe'er thou casts'st thy view,
Upon that white and radiant crew, See'st not a soul cloth'd with more light than thine. And, if the glorious saints cease not to know Their wretched friends who fight with life below, Thy flame to me does still the same abide,
Only more pure and rarefy'd. There, whilst immortal hymns thou dost rehearse,
Thou dost with holy pity see
Our dull and earthly poesy, Where grief and misery can be join'd with verse.
Th' uncomfortable shade