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Why am I charm'd by friendship's fond essays,
And though unbodied, conscious of thy praise?
Has pride a portion in the parted soul?
Does passion still, the firmless mind control!
Can gratitude out-pant the silent breath!
Or a friend's sorrow pierce the gloom of death!
No-'tis a spirit's nobler task of bliss;
That feels the worth it left, in proofs like this;
That not its own applause, but thine approves,
Whose practice praises, and whose virtue loves;
Who livest to crown departed friends with fame;
Then dying, late, shalt all thou gavest reclaim.
His saltem acumulem donis, et fungar inani
ON CHARLES EARL OF DORSET,
IN THE CHURCH OF WITHYAM IN SUSSEX.
DORSET, the grace of courts, the Muses' pride,
Patron of arts, and judge of nature, died.
The scourge of pride, though sanctified or great,
Of fops in learning, and of knaves in state;
Yet soft his nature, though severe his lay,
His anger moral, and his wisdom gay.
Blest satirist! who touch'd the mean so true,
As showed vice had his hate and pity too.
Blest courtier! who could king and country please,
Yet sacred keep his friendships and his ease.
Blest peer! his great forefathers' every grace
Reflecting, and reflected in his race;
Where other BUCKHURSTS, other DORSETS shine,
And patriots still, or poets, deck the line.
ON SIR WILLIAM TRUMBAL,
ONE OF THE PRINCIPAL SECRETARIES OF STATE TO KING WILLIAM III., WHO HAVING RESIGNED HIS PLACE, DIED IN HIS RETIREMENT AT EASTHAMSTED, IN BERKSHIRE, 1716,
A PLEASING form; a firm, yet cautious mind;
Sincere, though prudent; constant, yet resign'd:
Honour unchanged, a principle profest,
Fix'd to one side, but moderate to the rest:
An honest courtier, yet a patriot too;
Just to his prince, and to his country true:
Fill'd with the sense of age, the fire of youth,
A scorn of wrangling, yet a zeal for truth:
A generous faith, from superstition free;
A love to peace, and hate of tyranny:
Such this man was; who now, from earth removed,
At length enjoys that liberty he loved.
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.
STATESMAN, yet friend to truth! of soul sincere,
In action faithful, and in honour clear!
Who broke no promise, served no private end,
Who gain'd no title, and who lost no friend;
Ennobled by himself, by all approved,
Praised, wept, and honour'd, by the muse he loved,
INTENDED FOR MR. ROWE,
THY reliques, Rowe, to this fair urn we trust,
And sacred, place by DRYDEN's awful dust:
Beneath a rude and nameless stone he lies,
To which thy tomb shall guide inquiring eyes.
Peace to thy gentle shade, and endless rest!
Blest in thy genius, in thy love too blest!
One grateful woman to thy fame supplies
What a whole thankless land to his denies.
ON MRS. CORBET,
WHO DIED OF A CANCER IN HER BREAST.
HERE rests a woman, good without pretence,
Blest with plain reason, and with sober sense,
No conquest 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.
ON THE MONUMENT OF THE HONOURABLE ROBERT DIGBY, AND OF HIS SISTER MARY, 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 mortal to divine.
And thou, blest 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 feared he might outvie Her works; and, dying, fears herself may die.
ON THE HON. SIMON HARCOURT,
ONLY SON OF THE LORD CHANCELLOR HARCOURT; AT THE CHURCH OF STANTON-HARCOURT IN OXFORDSHIRE, 1720.
To this sad shrine, whoe'er thou art! draw near,
Here lies the friend most loved, the son most dear:
Who ne'er knew joy, but friendship might divide,
Or gave his father grief but when he died.
How vain is reason, eloquence how weak!
If Pope must tell what HARCOURT cannot speak.
Oh let thy once-loved friend inscribe thy stone,
And, with a father's sorrows, mix his own!
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 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 a 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 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.