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Ennobled by himself, by all approved,
Praised, wept, and honour'd by the Muse he loved.
ON MR. ROWE,*
IN WESTMINSTER ABBEY.
THY relics, Rowe ! to this sad shrine we trust,
And near thy Shakspear place thy honour'd bust.
O next him, skill'd to draw the tender tear,
For never heart felt passion more sincere :
To nobler sentiment to fire the brave,
For never Briton more disdain'd a slave !
Peace to thy gentle shade, and endless rest,
Bless'd in thy genius, in thy love too bless'd!
And bless'd, that timely from our scene removed,
Thy soul enjoys the liberty it loved.
To these, so mourn'd in death; so loved in life,
The childless parent and the widow'd wife,
With tears inscribes this monumental stone;
That holds their ashes, and expects her own.
ON MRS. CORBET,
WHO DIED OF A CANCER IN HER BREAST,
HERE rests a woman, good without pretence,
Bless'd with plain reason and with sober sense :
No conquests she, but o'er herself, desired;
No arts essay'd, but not to be admired.
Passion and pride were to her soul unknown,
Convinced that virtue only is our own.
So unaffected, so composed a mind;
So firm, yet soft; so strong, yet so refined;
Heaven, as its purest gold, by tortures tried:
The saint sustain'd it, but the woman died.
Pope first wrote a similar but shorter epitaph on Rowe; he afterwards substituted the one here given, which is inscribed on his monument in Westminster Abbey.
MONUMENT OF THE HON. ROBERT DIGBY,
Erected by their father, the Lord Digby, in the church of
Sherborne, in Dorsetshire, 1727.
Go! fair example of untainted youth,
Of modest wisdom, and pacific truth :
Composed 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 human kind :
Go, live! for heaven's eternal year is thine;
Go, and exalt thy moral to divine.
And thou, bless'd maid! attendant on his doom,
Pensive hast 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!
ON SIR GODFREY KNELLER.
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 human kind.
O, born to arms! O, worth in youth approved!
O, 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.
AT EASTHAMSTED, IN 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,
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;
Thank'd Heaven that he had lived, and that he
* He assisted Pope in his translation of the 'Odyssey.'
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,
And uncorrupted e'en 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.'
INTENDED FOR SIR ISAAC NEWTON,
TESTANTUR TEMPUS, NATURA, COELUM:
NATURE and Nature's laws lay hid in night: God said, 'Let Newton be!' and all was light.
ON DR. FRANCIS ATTERBURY,
He died in exile at Paris, 1732. In 1729 his only daughter (who had gone thither to see him) died in his arms, immediately after her arrival.
YES, 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.
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!
ON EDMUND DUKE OF BUCKINGHAM,
WHO DIED IN THE NINETEENTH YEAR OF HIS AGE,
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;
*The Duchess of Buckingham was in league with the Pretender and Atterbury's party; therefore Pope uses the word patriot.