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ON THE DEATH OF ADDISON.
TO THE EARL OF WARWICK.
IF, dumb too long, the drooping Muse hath stay’d,
And left her debt to Addison unpaid ;
Blame not her filence, Warwick, but bemoan,
And judge, oh judge, my bosom by your own.
What mourner ever felt poetic fires !
Slow comes the verse that real woe inspires:
Grief unaffected suits but ill with art,
Or flowing numbers with a bleeding heart.
Can I forget the dismal night, that gave
My soul's best part for ever to the grave!
How filent did his old companions tread,
By midnight lamps, the mansions of the dead;
Through breathing statues, then unheeded things;
Through rows of warriors, and through walks of kings!
What awe did the now folemn knell inspire ;
The pealing organ, and the paufing choir;
The duties by the lawn-rob’d prelate pay'd ;
And the last words, that duft to dust convey'd !
While speechless o'er thy clofing grave we bend,
Accept these tears, thou dear departed friend!
Oh, gone for ever, take this long adieu ;
And Neep in peace, next thy lov'd Montague!
To strew fresh laurels let the task be mine, A frequent pilgrim at thy sacred thrine ;
Mine with true fighs thy absence to bemoan,
And grave with faithful epitaphs thy ftone.
If e'er from me thy lov'd memorial part,
May Mame afflict this alienated heart;
Of thce forgetful, if I form a song,
My lyre be broken, and untun'd my tongue;
My grief be doubled, from thy image free;
And mirth a torment, unchastiz'd by thee.
Oft let me range the gloomy ailes alone,
(Sad luxury! to vulgar minds unknown,)
Along the walls where speaking marbles show
What worthies from the hallow'd mould below:
Proud names that once the reins of empire held;
In arms who triumph'd; or in arts excell’d;
Chiefs, grac'd with scars, and prodigal of blood ;
Stern patriots, who for sacred freedom ftood;
Juft men, by whom impartial laws were given ;
And saints who taught, and led, the way to heav'n.
Ne'er to these chambers, where the mighty reft,
Since their foundation, came a nobler guest;
Nor e'er was to the bowers of bliss convey'd
A fairer spirit, or a more welcome shade.
In what new region to the juft aflign’d, What new employments please th’ unbody'd mind? A winged virtue, through th'ethereal sky, From world to world unweary'd does he fly; Or curious trace the long laborious maze Of Heav'n's decrees, where wond'ring angels gaze Does he delight to hear bold seraphs tell How Michael battled, and the Dragon fell? Or, mix'd with milder cherubim, to glow In hymns of love, uot ill-essay'd below
Or dost thou warn poor mortals left behind,
A task well suited to thy gentle mind ?
Oh, if sometimes thy spotless form descend,
To me thy aid, thoa guardian Genius, lend !
When rage misguides me, or when fear alarms,
When pain diftreffes, or when pleasure charins,
In flent whisp’rings purer thoughts impart,
And turn from ill a frail and feeble heart;
Lead through the paths thy virtue trod before,
Till bliss shall join, nor death can part us more.
That awful form, (which, so ye Heav'ns decree,
Must still be lov'd and still deplor'd by me,)
In nightly visions seldom fails to rise,
Or, rous’d by fancy, meets my waking eyes.
If business calls, or crowded courts invite,
Th’unblemish'd statesman seems to strike my light;
If in the stage I seek to footh my care,
I meet his soul which breathes in Calo there ;
If penfive to the rural ft.ades I rove,
His Ihape o’ertakes me in the lonely grove:
'Twas there of just and good he reason'd strong,
Clear’d some great truth, or rais'd some serious song ;
There patient shew'd us the wide course to steer,
A candid censor, and a friend severe;
There taught us how to live ; and (oh ! too high
The price for knowledge) taught us how to die.
Thou hill, whose brow the antique structures grace, Reard by bold chiefs of Warwick's noble race, Why, once so lov'd, whene'er thy bower appears, O’er 'my dim eye-balls glance the sudden tears ! How sweet were once thy prospects fresh and fair, Thy Noping walks, and unpolluted air !
How sweet the glooms beneath thy aged trees,
Thy noon-tide shadow, and thy evening breeze!
His image thy forsaken bowers restore;
Thy walks, and airy prospects charm no more.
No more the summer in thy glooms allay'd,
Thy evening breezes, and thy noon-day shade.
From other ills, however fortune frown'd,
Some refuge in the Muse's art I found;
Reluctant now I touch the trembling string,
Bereft of him, who taught me how to fing;
And these sad accents, murmur'd o'er his urn,
Betray that absence they attempt to mourn.
Oh! must I then (now fresh my bofom bleeds,
And Craggs t in death to Addison fucceeds)
The verse, begun to one lost friend, prolong;
And weep a second in th' unfinish'd fong!
His works divine, which on his death-bed laid,
To thee, O Craggs, th' expiring Sage convey'd,
Great, but ill-omen'd, monument of fame,
Nor he furviv'd to give, nor thou to claim.
Swift after him thy social spirit Aies,
And close to his, how foon ! thy coffin lies.
Blest pair! whose union future bards shall tell
In future tongues : each other's boast ! farewel :-
Farewel! 'whom join'd in fame, in friendship try'd,
No chance could sever, nor the grave divide.
The Rt. Hon. James Craggs, who succeeded Mr. Addison in the office of Secretary of State ; to whom he dedicated his Works, as a testimony of his friendship.
THESE, as they change, Almighty Father, these, Are but the varied God. The rolling year Is full of thee. Forth in the pleasing Spring Thy beauty walks, Thy tenderness and love. Wide Aufh the fields ; the soft'ning air is balm ; Echo the mountains round; the forest smiles ; And every sense, and every heart is joy: .. Then comes thy glory in the Summer-months, With light and heat refulgent. Then Thy fun Shoots full perfection through the swelling year : And oft Thy voice in dreadful thunder speaks ; And oft at dawn, deep noon, or falling eve, By brooks and groves, in hollow-whisp'ring gales, Thy bounty shines in Autumn unconfin'd, And spreads a common feast for all that lives. In Winter, awful Thou ! with clouds and storms Around Thee thrown, tempest o’er tempest rollid, Majestic darkness ! on the whirlwind's wing, Riding sublime, Thou bidst the world adore, And humbleft Nature with Thy northern blast.
Mysterious round! what skill, what force divine, Deep-felt, in these appear! a simple train, Yet so delightful mix'd, with such kind art, Such beauty and beneficence combin'd;