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So unaffected, so compos'd a mind,
So firm, yet soft, so strong, yet so refin’d;
Heaven, as its purest gold, by tortures tried ;
The saint sustain'd it, but the woman died.
ON THE MONUMENT OF THE
HON. R. DIGBY AND OF HIS SISTER MARY,
ERECTED BY THEIR FATHER LORD DIGBY,
In the Church of Sherborne, in Dorsetshire, 1727.
Go! fair example of untainted youth,
Of modest wisdom and pacific truth :
Compos'd in sufferings, and in joy sedate,
Good without noise, without pretension great:
Just of thy word, in every thought sincere,
Who knew no wish but what the world might hear:
Of softest manners, unaffected mind,
Lover of peace, and friend of humankind !
Go live! for Heaven's eternal year is thine;
Go, and exalt thy mortal to divine,
And thou, bless'd maid! attendant on his doom,
Pensive hath follow'd to the silent tomb,
Steer'd the same course to the same quiet shore,
Not parted long, and now to part no more!
Go then, where only bliss sincere is known!
Go where to love and to enjoy are one !
Yet take these tears, mortality's relief, And till we share your joys, forgive our grief •, These little rites, a stone, a verse, receive; 'Tis all a father, all a friend can give !
IN WESTMINSTER ABBEY, 1723.
Kneller, by Heaven, and not a master, taught, Whose art was nature, and whose pictures thought; Now for two ages having snatch'd from fate Whate'er was beauteous, or whate'er was great, Lies crown'd with princes' honours, poets' lays, Due to his merit and brave thirst of praise.
Living, great Nature fear'd he might outvie Her works; and, dying, fears herself may die.
ON GENERAL HENRY WITHERS,
IN WESTMINSTER ABBEY, 1729.
Here, Withers ! rest; thou bravest, gentlest mind,
Thy country's friend, but more of humankind.
Oh born to arms! O worth in youth approv'd !
O soft humanity, in age belov'd !
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. :
ON MR. ELIJAH FENTON,
AT EASTHAMSTED, BERKS, 1730.
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, [great;
Whom heaven kept sacred from the proud and
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,
Thank'd Heaven that he had liv’d, and that he died.
IN WESTMINSTER ABBEY, 1732.
Or 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,
And uncorrupted e'en among the great :
A safe companion, and an easy friend,
Unblam'd 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 :
But that the worthy and the good shall say,
Striking their pensive bosoms — Here lies Gay!'
INTENDED FOR SIR ISAAC NEWTON,
TESTANTUR TEMPUS, NATURA, CELUM :
HOC MARMOR FATETUR.
NATURE and Nature's laws lay hid in night: God said, “ Let Newton be !' and all was light.
ON DR, FRANCIS ATTERBURY, BISHOP OF ROCHESTER, WHO DIED IN EXILE AT PARIS,
[His only daughter having expired in his arms immediately
after she arrived in France to see him.] :
DIALOGUE. She. Yes, we have liv'd_One pang, and then we
part ! May heaven, dear father! now have all thy heart. Yet ah! how once we lov'd, remember still, Till you are dust like me. He.
Dear shade! I will : Then mix this dust with thine-O 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.
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 !
The living virtue now had shone approv'd;
The senate heard him, and his country lov’d.
Yet softer honours and less noisy fame
Attend the shade of gentle Buckingham:
In whom a race, for courage fam’d and art,
End in the milder merit of the heart;
And chiefs or sages long to Britain given,
Pays the last tribute of a saint to heaven.
FOR ONE WHO WOULD NOT BE BURIED IN
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.
UNDER this marble, or under this sill,
Or under this turf, or e’en what they will,