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IX.

ON GENERAL HENRY WITHERS,

IN WESTMINSTER ABBEY, 1729.

HERE

5

WITHERS, rest! thou bravest, gentlest mind,
Thy country's friend, but more of human kind.
Oh born to arms! Oh worth in youth approved !
Oh soft humanity, in age beloved !
For thee the hardy veteran drops a tear,
And the gay courtier feels the sigh sincere.

WITHERS, adieu! yet not with thee remove
Thy martial spirit, or thy social love!
Amidst corruption, luxury, and rage,
Still leave some ancient virtues to our age ;
Nor let us say, (those English glories gone,)
The last true Briton lies beneath this stone.

10

X.

ON MR. ELIJAH FENTON,

AT EASTHAMPSTEAD IN BERKS, 1730.

THIS

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THIS modest stone, what few vain marbles can,

May truly say, Here lies an honest man :
A poet, bless'd beyond the poet's fate,
Whom Heaven kept sacred from the proud and great:
Foe to loud praise, and friend to learned ease,
Content with science in the vale of peace,
Calmly he look’d on either life, and here
Saw nothing to regret, or there to fear ;
From Nature's temperate feast rose satisfied,
Thanked Heaven that he had lived, and that he died.

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XI.

ON MR. GAY,

IN WESTMINSTER ABBEY, 1732.

OF manners gentle, of affections mild ;

In wit, a man ; simplicity, a child :
With native humour tempering virtuous rage,
Form'd to delight at once and lash the age :
Above temptation in a low estate,

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And uncorrupted, ev'n among the great:
A safe companion, and an easy friend,
Unblamed through life, lamented in thy end.
These are thy honours ! not that here thy bust
Is mix'd with heroes, or with kings thy dust;

10 But that the worthy and the good shall say, Striking their pensive bosoms-Here lies GAY.

["Here lies Gay,"—i. e., in the hearts of the good and worthy. Mr. Pope told me his conceit in this line was not generally understood; for, by peculiar ill luck, the formulary expression, which makes the beauty, misleads the reader into a sense which takes it quite away.-Warburton. Johnson says, “the first eight lines have no grammar; the adjectives are without any substantives, and the epithets without a subject.” The last line originally began, “Striking their aching bosoms." Swift objected that “the two participles, as they are so near, seemed to sound too like,” and hence pensive was substituted for aching.)

XII.

INTENDED FOR SIR ISAAC NEWTON,

IN WESTMINSTER ABBEY.

ISAACUS NEWTONUS:

QUEM IMMORTALEM
TESTANTUR TEMPUS, NATURA, CELUM :

MORTALEM

HOC MARMOR FATETUR.

NATURE and Nature's laws lay hid in night

:

God said, Let Newton be! and all was light.

XIII.

ON DR. FRANCIS ATTERBURY, BISHOP OF

ROCHESTER,

WHO DIED IN EXILE AT PARIS, 1732.

[His only daughter having expired in his arms, immediately after she arrived

in France to see him.]

DIALOGUE.

SHE.

YES,
ES, we have lived-one pang, and then we part !

May Heaven, dear Father! now have all thy heart.
Yet ah! how once we loved, remember still,
Till you are dust like me.

HE.

Dear shade! I will :
Then mix this dust with thine—0 spotless ghost !
O more than fortune, friends, or country lost!
Is there on earth one care, one wish beside ?
Yes—Save my country, Heaven !

-He said, and died.

XIV.

ON EDMUND, DUKE OF BUCKINGHAM,

WHO DIED IN THE NINETEENTH YEAR OF HIS AGE, 1735.

IF modest youth, with cool reflection crown’d,

And every opening virtue blooming round,
Could save a parent's justest pride from Fate,
Or add one patriot to a sinking state;
This weeping marble had not ask'd thy tear,
Or sadly told how many hopes lie here !

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The living virtue now had shone approved,
The senate heard him, and his country loved.
Yet softer honours, and less noisy fame
Attend the shade of gentle BUCKINGHAM ;
In whom a race, for courage famed and art,
Ends in the milder merit of the heart,
And chiefs or sages long to Britain given,
Pays the last tribute of a saint to heaven.

XV.

FOR ONE WHO WOULD NOT BE BURIED IN

WESTMINSTER ABBEY.

HEROES, and kings! your distance keep:

In peace let one poor poet sleep,
Who never flatter'd folks like you :
Let Horace blush, and Virgil too

XVI.

ANOTHER, ON THE SAME.
UNDER this marble, or under this sill,

Or under this turf, or e'en what they will ;
Whatever an heir, or a friend in his stead,
Or any good creature shall lay o'er my head,
Lies one who ne'er cared, and still cares not a pin
What they said, or may say, of the mortal within ;
But who, living and dying, serene still and free,
Trusts in God, that as well as he was, he shall be.

XVII.

ON TWO LOVERS STRUCK DEAD BY LIGHTNING.
WHEN Eastern lovers feed the funeral fire,

On the same pile the faithful pair expire :
Here pitying Heaven that virtue mutual found,
And blasted both, that it might neither wound.
Hearts so sincere th’ Almighty saw well pleased,

Sent his own lightning, and the victims seized. [Lord Harcourt, on whose property the unfortunate pair lived, was apprehensive that the country people would not understand the above, and Pope wrote the subjoined :-)

NEAR THIS PLACE LIE THE BODIES OF
JOHN HEWET AND SARAH DREW,

AN INDUSTRIOUS YOUNG MAN
AND VIRTUOUS MAIDEN OF THIS PARISH;
WHO, BEING AT HARVEST WORK

(WITH SEVERAL OTHERS),
WERE IN ONE INSTANT KILLED BY LIGHTNING,

THE LAST DAY OF JULY, 1718.
THINK not, by rigorous judgment seized,

A pair so faithful could expire ;
Victims so pure Heaven saw well pleased,

And snatch'd them in celestial fire.
Live well, and fear no sudden fate;

When God calls Virtue to the grave,
Alike 'tis justice soon or late,

Mercy alike to kill or save.
Virtue unmoved can hear the call,
And face the flash that melts the ball.

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