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THE SUDDEN DEATH OF MRS. MARY
AN ELEGIAC SONG, SENT IN A LETTER OF CONDOLENCE
TO MR. N. P. MERCHANT, AT AMSTERDAM.
Who died March the 8th, 1701. BENEATH
DENEATH these honours of a tomb, Greatness in humble rujn lies: (How earth confines in narrow room What heroes leave beneath the skies !) Preserve, O venerable pile, Inviolate thy sacred trust; To thy cold arms the British Isle, Weeping, commits her richest dust, Ye gentlest ministers of Fate, Attend the monarch as he lies, And bid the softest slumbers wait With silken cords to bind his eyes. Rest his dear sword beneath his head, Round him his faithful arms shall stand : Fix his bright ensigns on his bed, The guards and honours of our land. Ye sister arts of Paint and Verse, Place Albion sainting by his side, Her groans arising o'er the hearse, And Belgia sinking when he died. High o'er the grave Religion set In solemn gold; pronounce the ground Sacred, to bar unhallow'd feet, And plant her guardian Virtues round. Fair Liberty, in sables drest, Write his lov'd name upon his urn, “ William, the scourge of tyrants past, And awe of princes yet unburn." Sweet Peace his sacred relics keep, With olives blooming round her head, And stretch her wings across the deep, To bless the nations with the shade. Stand on the pile, immortal Fame, Broad stars adorn thy brightest robe, Thy thousand voices sound his name In silver accents round the globe. Flattery shall faint beneath the sound, While hoary Truth in-pires the song; Envy grow pale and bite the grond, And Slander gnaw her forky tongue.
Ilark! She bids all her friends adieu;
Natus est in agro Lancastriensi 20° Martii, 1630. EPITAPHIUM
Inter Nov-Anglos theologiæ tyrocinia fecit. VIRI VENERABILIS DOM. N. MATHER,
Pastorali munere diu Dublinii in Hibernia functus,
Tandem (ut semper) Providentiam secutus ducem, CARMINE LAPIDARIO CONSCRIPTUM.
Catui fidelium apud Londinenses prepositus est, M. S.
Quos ductrinâ, precibus, et vitâ beavit : Reverendi adınodum Viri
Ah brevi !
Corpore solutns 26° Julii, 1697. Ætat. 67. NATHANAELIS MATHERI.
Ecclesiis mærorem, theologis exemplar reliquit.
Probis piisque omnibus
Infandum sui desiderium:
Dum pulvis Christo charus hic dulcè dormit
Expectans stellam matutmam.
Et per utramque Angliam celebri,
Americanam sc. atque Europæam.
Non fallacem :
THE REV. MR. JOHN SHOWER,
ON THE DEATH OF HIS DAUGHTER,
MRS. ANNE WARNER.
REVEREND AND DEAR SIR,
How great soever was my sense of your loss, yet
I did not think myself fit to otier any lines of comQuoties in rebus divinis peragendis fort: your own meditations can furnish you with Divinitas affatæ mentis specimina many a delightful truth in the midst of so heavy a Præstantiora edidit,
sorrow; for the covenant of grace hias brightness Toties hominem sedulus occuluit
enough in it to gild the most gloomy providence; Ut solus conspiceretur Deus:
and to that sweet covenant your soul is no stranger. Voluit totus latere, nec potuit;
My own thoughts were much impressed with the Hen quantum tamen sui nos latet! tidings of your daughter's death; and though I Et majorem laudis partem sepulchrale marmor made many a reflection on the vanity of mankind Invita obruit silentio.
in its best estate, yet I must acknowledge that my Gratiam Jesu Christi salutiferam
temper Jeads me most to the pleasant scenes of Quarn abundè hausit ipse, aliis propinavit, Heaven, and that future world of blessedness. Puram ab humanâ fæce.
When I recollect the memory of my friends that Veritatis evangelicæ decus ingens, are dead, I frequently rove into the world of spirits, Et ingens propugnaculum.
and search them out there. Thus I endeavoured to Concionator gravis aspectu, gestu, voce; trace Mirs. Warner; and these thoughts crowding Cui nec aderat pompa oratoria,
fast upon me, I set them down for my own enterNec deerat;
tainment. The verse breaks off abruptly, because Flosculos rhetorices supervacaneos fecit I had no design to write a finished elegy ; and beRerum dicendarum Majestas, et Deus præsens : sides, when I was fallen upon the dark side of Hinc arma militiæ suæ non infelicia, douth, I had no mind to tarry there. If the lines Minc toties fiatus Satanas.
I have written be so happy as to entertain you Et hinc victoriæ
a little, and divert your grief, the time spent Ab inferorum portis toties reportatæ. in composing them shall not be reckoned among Solers ille ferreis impiorum animis infigere my lost hours, and the review will be more pleasAltum et salutare vulnus :
ing to, Vulneratas idem tractare leniter solers,
sir, Et medelam adhibere magis salutarem.
your affectionate humble servant, Ex defæcato cordis fonte
December 22, 1707.
AN ELEGIAC THOUGHT ON MRS. ANNE
WHO DIED OF THE SMALL-POX, DECEMBER 18, 1707,
AT ONE OF THE CLOCK IN THE MORNING; A FEW
Awake, my Muse, range the wide world of souls,
And seek Vernera fled. With upward aim Plerophoriâ fidei quasi curru alato vectus Direct thy wing; for she was born from Heaven, Properè et exultim attigit.
Fulfill'd her visit, and return’d on high,
DAYS AFTER THE BIRTH AND DEATH OF HER FIRST
The midnight watch of angels, that patrole Nor set with meaner gems. But vain ambition, The British sky, have notic'd her ascent
And emulation vain, and fond conceit, Near the meridian star; pursue the track
And pride for ever banish'd flies the place, To the bright confines of immortal Day
Curst pride, the dress of Hell. Tell me, Urania, And Paradise, her home. Say, my Urania, How her joys heighten, and her golden hours (For nothing 'scapes thy search, nor canst thou miss Circle in love. Ostamp upon my soul So fair a spirit) say, beneath what shade
Some blissful image of the fair deceas'd, Of amaranth, or cheerful ever-green,
To call my passions and my eyes aside She sits, recounting to her kindred minds,
From the dear breathless clay; distressing sight! Angelic or humane, ber mortal toil
I look and mourn and gaze with greedy view
That form so late desir'd, so late belov'd,
That leagu'd with Nature's sharpest pains, and spoil'd (Snares set to murder souls); but Heaven secur'd So sweet a structure! The impoisoning taint The favourite nymph, and taught her victory. O'erspreads the building wrought with skill divine,
And ruins the rich temple to the dust!
Was this the countenance, where the world adAnd clasp'd it to her soul, to satiate there
Features of Wit and Virtue? this the face (mird The young maternal passion, and absolve
Where Love triumph’d? and Beauty on these cheeks, The unfulfill'd embrace? Thrice happy child!
As on a throne, beneath her radiant eyes That saw the light and turn'd its eyes aside
Was seated to advantage; mild, serene, From our dim regions to th' Eternal Sun,
Reflecting rosy light? So sits the Sun And led the parents way to glory! There
(Fair eye of Heaven!) upon a crimson cloud Thou art for ever hers, wrth powers enlarg'd
Near the horizon, and with gentle ray For love reciprocal and sweet converse.
Smiles lovely round the sky, till rising fogs,
Portending night, with foul and heavy wing Behold her ancestors (a pious race)
Involve the golden star, and sink him down Rang'd in fair order, at her sight rejoice,
Opprest with darkness.And sing her welcome. She along their seats Gliding salutes them all with honours due, Such as are paid in Heaven: and last she finds A mansion fashiou'd of distinguish'd light, But vacant: “ This (with sure presage she cries) Awaits my father; when will he arrive? How long, alas, how long!” (Then calls her mate) THE DEATH OF AN AGED AND HONOURED “ Die, thou dear partner of my mortal cares,
RELATIVE, MRS. M. W. Die, and partake my bliss; we are for ever one.”
JULY 13, 1693. Ah me! where roves my fancy! What kind
dreams Crowd with sweet violence on my waking mind!
I know the kindred-mind. 'Tis she, 'tis she; Perhaps illusions all! Inform me, Muse,
Among the heavenly forms I see Chooses she rather to retire apart,
The kindred-mind from fleshly bondage free; To recollect her dissipated powers,
O how unlike the thing was lately seen
Groaning and pan on the bed,
With ghastly air and languish'd head,
Life on this side, there the dead, From Hymen's hurrying and tumultuous joys,
While the delaying flesh lay shivering between ! And fears and pangs, fierce pangs that wrought her death.
Long did the earthy house restrain Tell me on what sublimer theme she dwells
In toilsome slavery that ethereal guest; In contemplation, with unerring clue
Prison'd her round in walls of pain, Infinite truth pursuing. (When, my soul,
And twisted cramps and aches with her chain;
The captive soul became her own again:
The prisoner smil'd to be releas’d,
Gaze on, my soul, and let a perfect view
Paint her idea all anew; Or lies she now before th' eternal throne
Rase out those melancholy shapes of woe Prostrate in humble form, with deep devotion That hang around the memory, and becloud it so. (erw belm'd, and self-abasement at the sight Come Fancy, come, with essences refin'd, Of the uncover'd Godhead face to face?
With youthful green, and spotless white; Seraphic crowns pay homage at his feet,
Deep be the tincture, and the colours bright And hers amongst them, not of dimmer ore, T'express the beauties of a naked mind.
Provide no glooms to form a shade;
ed after more of art in the following composition, All things above of varied light are made,
to supply the defect of nature, and to feign a sorNor can the heavenly piece require a mortal aid. row; but the uncommon condescension of his But if the features too divine
friendship to me, the inward esteem I pay his meBeyond the power of Pancy shine, (shrine, mory, and the vast and tender sense I have of the Conceal th' inimitable strokes behind a graceful loss, make all the methods of art needless, whilst
natural grief supplies more than all. Describe the saint from head to feet,
I had resolved indeed to lament in sighs and Make all the lines in just proportion meet; But let her posture be
silence, and frequently checked the too forward Filling a chair of high degree;
Muse: but the importunity was not to be resisted ; Observe how near it stands to the Almighty seat.
long lines of sorrow flowed in upon me ere I was Paint the new graces of her eyes;
aware, whilst I took many a solitary walk in the Fresh in her looks let sprightly youth arise,
garden adjoining to his seat at Newington; nor
could I free myself from the crowd of melancholy And joys unknown below the skies.
ideas. Your ladyship will find throughout the Virtue, that lives conceal'd below, And to the breast confin'd,
poem, that the fair and unfinished building which
he had just raised for himself, gave almost all the Sits here triumphant on the brow, And breaks with radiant glories through
turns of mourning to my thoughts; for I pursue no
other topics of elegy than what my passion and my The features of the mind.
senses lead me to. Express her passion still the same, But more divinely sweet;
The poem roves, as my eyes and grief did, from Love has an everlasting flame,
one part of the fabric to the other. It rises from the And makes the work complete.
foundation, salutes the walls, the doors, and the
windows, drops a tear upon the roof, and climbs the The painter-Muse with glancing eye
turret, that pleasant retreat, where I promised myObserv'd a manly spirit nigh ',
self many sweet hours of his conversation: there That Death had long disjoin'd:
my song wanders amongst the delightful subjects “ In the fair tablet they shall stand
divine and moral, which used to entertain our United by a happier band :"
[mind. happy leisure; and thence descending to the fields She said, and fix'd her sight, and drew the manly and the shady walks, where I so often enjoyed his Recount the years, my song, (a mournful round!) pleasing discourse, my sorrows diffuse themselves Since he was seen on Earth no more:
there without a linnit. I had quite forgotten all He fought in lower seas and drown'd;
scheme and method of writing, till I correct myBut victory and peace are found
self, and rise to the turret again to lament that deOn the superior shore.
solate seat. Now if the critics laugh at the folly of There now his tuneful breath in sacred songs the Muse for taking too much notice of the golden Employs the European and the Eastern tongues. ball, let them consider that the meanest thing that Let th' awful truncheon and the fute,
belonged to so valuable a person still gave soine The pencil and the well known lute,
fresh and doleful reflections: and I transcribe na. Powerful numbers, charming wit,
ture without rule, and represent friendship in a And every art and science meet, [his feet. mourning dress, abandoned to deepest sorrow, and And bring their laurels to his hand, or lay them at with a negligence becoming woe unfeigned. 'Tis done. What beams of glory fall
Had I designed a complete elegy, madam, on (Rich varnish of immortal art)
your dearest brother, and intended it for public To gild the bright original !
view, I should have followed the usual forms of 'Tis done. The Muse has now perform'd her part. poetry, so far at least as to spend some pages in Bring down the piece, Urania, from above,
the character and praises of the deceased, and And let my honour and my love
thence have taken occasion to call mankind to Dress it with chains of gold to hang upon my heart. complain aloud of the universal and unspeakable
loss: but I wrote merely for myself, as a friend of the dead, and to ease my full soul by breathing out my own complaints; I knew his character and
virtues so well, that there was no need to mention A FUNERAL POEM
them while I talked only with myself; for the ON THE DEATH OF THOMAS GUNSTON, ESQ. image of them was ever present with me, which Presented to the Right Hon. the Lady Abney, Lady kept the pain at the heart intense and lively, and
my tears flowing with my verse. Mayoress of London.
July 1701. Perhaps your ladyship will expect some divine MADAM,
thoughts and sacred meditations, mingled with a Had I been a common mourner at the funeral of St.bject so solemn as this is. Had I formed a de the dear gentleman deceased, I should have labour- sign of offering it to your hands, I had composed a
more Christian poem ; but it was grief purely na
tural for a death so surprising that drew all the 1 My grandfather, Mr. Thomas Watts, had such strokes of it, and therefore my reflections are acquaintance with the mathematics, painting, mu- chiefly of a moral strain. Such as it is, your sic, and poesy, &e. as gave him considerable esteem ladyship requires a copy of it; but let it not touch among his contemporaries. He was commander of your soul tou tenderly, nor renew your own mourna ship of war, 1656, and by blowing up of the ship ing3. Receive it, madam, as an offering of love in the Dutch war he was drowned in his youth. and tears at the tomb of a departed friend, and let
it abide with you as a witness of that affectionate | See the dull wheels roll on the sable load; respect and honour that I bore him; all which, as But no dear son to tread the mournful road, your ladyship's most rightful due, both by merit And fondly drop his kind young sorrows there, and by succession, is now huinbly offered, by, The father's urn bedewing with a filial tear.
Q had he left us one behind, to play madam,
Wanton about the painted hall, and say, your ladyship's most hearty “ This was my father's,” with impatient joy
In my fond arms I'd clasp the smiling boy,
And call him my young friend : but awful Fate
Stand here for strangers ? Must some unknown TO THE DEAR MEMORY OF MY MUCH HONOURED FRIEND, THOMAS GUNSTON, ESQ.
Possess these rooms, the labours of niy friend?
Why were these walls rais'd for this hapless end? Who died Nov. 11, 1700, when he had just finished why these apartments all adorn'd so gay? his Seat at Newington.
Why his rich fancy lavish'd thus away)
Muse, view the paintings, how the hovering light Of blasted hopes, and of short withering joys,
Plays o'er the colours in a wanton fight, Sing, heavenly Muse. Try thine ethereal voice
And mingled shades wrought in by soft degrees, In funeral numbers, and a doleful song;
Give a sweet foil to all the charming piece ; Gunston the just, the generous, and the young,
But night, eternal night, hangs black around Gunston, the friend, is dead. O empty name
The dismal chambers of the hollow ground, Of earthly bliss ! 'tis all an airy dream,
And solid shades unmingled round his bed All a vain thought! Our soaring fancies rise
Stand hideous: earthy fogs embrace his head, On treacherous wings! and hopes that touch the And noisome vapours glide along his face skies
Rising perpetual. Muse, forsake the place, Drag but a longer ruin through the downward air,
Flee the raw damps of the unwholesome clay, And plunge the falling joy still deeper in despair.
Look to his airy spacious hall, and say,
“ How has he chang'd it for a lonesome cave, How did our souls stand flatter'd and prepar'd
Confin'd and crowded in a narrow grave!"
Th’ unhappy house looks desolate, and mourns,
Solid and square it rises from below: But hasty Fate thrusts her dread shears between,
A noble air without a gaudy show Cuts the young life off, and shuts up the scene. Reigns through the model, and adorns the whole, Thus airy Pleasure dances in our eyes,
Manly and plain. Such was the builder's soul. And spreads false images in fair disguise,
O how I love to view the stately frame, T'allure our souls, till just within our arms That dear memorial of the best-lov'd name! The vision dies, and all the painted charms Then could I wish for some prodigious cave Flee quick away from the pursuing sight,
Vast as bis seat, and silent as his grave, Till they are lost in shades, and mingle with the Where the tall shades stretch to the hideous roof, night.
Forbid the day, and guard the sun-bearns off; Muse, stretch thy wings, and thy sad journey bend Thither, my willing feet, should ye be drawn To the fair fabric that thy dying friend
At the gray twilight, and the early dawn; Built nameless : 'twill suggest a thousand things There sweetly sad should my soft minutes roll, Mournful and soft as my Urania sings.
Numbering the sorrows of my drooping soul. How did he lay the deep foundations strong,
But these are airy thoughts! substantial grief
Grows by those objects that should yield relief; Marking the bounds, and rear the walls along
Fond of my woes, I heave my eyes around, Solid and lasting! There a numerous train
My grief from every prospect courts a wound; Of happy Gunstons might in pleasure reign, While nations perish, and long ages run,
Views the green gardens, views the smiling skies,
Still my heart sinks, and still my cares arise; Nations unborn, and ages unbegun:
My wandering feet round the fair mansion rove, Not Time itself should waste the blest estate,
And there to soothe my sorrows I indulge my love, Nor the tenth race rebuild the ancient seat. How fond our fancies are! The founder dies Oft have I laid the awful Calvin by, Childless ; his sisters weep, and close his eyes, And the sweet Cowley, with impatient eye And wait upon his hearse with never-ceasing cries. To see those walls, pay the sad visit there, Lofty and slow it moves to meet the tomb, And drop the tribute of an hourly tear: While weighty sorrow nods on every plume;
Still I behold some melancholy scene, A thousand groans his dear remains convey With many a pensive thought, and many a sigh To his cold lodging in a bed of clay,
between. His country's sacred tears well-watering all the Two days ago we took the evening air, way.
I, and my grief, and my Urania there;