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When titles are the smallest claim;
When wealth and rank and noble blood,
But aid the power of doing good;
Then all their trophies last--and flattery turns to fame.
Blest spirit thou, whose fame, just born to bloom, Shall spread and flourish from the tomb; How hast thou left mankind for Heaven ! Even now reproach and faction mourn, And, wondering how their rage was born, Request to be forgiven ! Alas! they never had thy hate ; Unmov'd in conscious rectitude, Thy towering mind self-centred stood, Nor wanted man's opinion to be great. In vain, to charm thy ravish'd sight, A thousand gifts would fortune send; In vain, to drive thee from the right, A thousand sorrows urg'd thy end : Like some well-fashion'd arch thy patience stood, And purchas'd strength from its increasing load : Pain met thee like a friend that set thee free; Affliction still is virtue's opportunity!
Song.–By a Man.
Virtue, on herself relying,
Ev'ry passion hush'd to rest,
Loses every pain of dying,
In the hopes of being blest.
Ev'ry added pang she suffers, ,
Some increasing good bestows,
And ev'ry shock that malice offers,
Only rocks her to repose.
Yet, ah ! what terrors frown'd upon her fate-
Death with its formidable band,
Fever, and pain, and pale consumptive care,
Determin'd took their stand.
Nor did the cruel ravagers design
To finish all their efforts at a blow;
But, mischievously slow,
They robb’d the relic and defaced the shrine.
With unavailing grief,
Despairing of relief,
Her weeping children round,
Beheld each hour
Death's growing power,
And trembled as he frown'd.
As helpless friends who view from shore
The labouring ship, and hear the tempest roar,
While winds and waves their wishes cross,-
They stood, while hope and comfort fail,
Not to assist, but to bewail
The inevitable loss.
Relentless tyrant, at thy call
How do the good, the virtuous fall !
Truth, beauty, worth, and all that most engage,
But wake thy vengeance and provoke thy rage.
Song.-- By a MAN.
When vice my dart and scythe supply,
How great a king of terrors I!
If folly, fraud, your hearts engage,
Tremble, ye mortals, at my rage !
Fall, round me fall, ye little things,
Ye statesmen, warriors, poets, kings!
If virtue fail her counsel sage,
Tremble, ye mortals, at my rage !
Yet let that wisdom, urged by her example,
Teach us to estimate what all must suffer ;
Let us prize death as the best gift of nature ;
As a safe inn, where weary travellers,
When they have journey'd through a world of cares,
May put off life and be at rest for ever.
Groans, weeping friends, indeed, and gloomy sables,
May oft distract us with their sad solemnity:
The preparation is the executioner.
Death, when unmask’d, shows me a friendly face,
And is a terror only at a distance ;
For as the line of life conducts me on
To Death's great court, the prospect seems more fair.
'Tis Nature's kind retreat, that's always open
To take us in when we have drain’d the cup
Of life, or worn our days to wretchedness.
In that secure, serene retreat,
Where all the humble, all the great,
Where wildly huddled to the eye,
The beggar's pouch and prince's purple lie,
May every bliss be thine.
And, ah! blest spirit, wheresoe'er thy flight,
Through rolling worlds, or fields of liquid light,
May cherubs welcome their expected guest,
May saints with songs receive thee to their rest,
May peace, that claim'd while here thy warmest love,
May blissful, endless peace, be thine above!
Song.-By a Woman.
Lovely, lasting Peace below,
Comforter of ev'ry woe,
Heav'nly born, and bred on higli,
To crown the favourites of the sky;
Lovely, lasting Peace appear;
This world itself, if thou art here,
Is once again with Eden blest,
And man contains it in his breast.
Our vows are heard ! long, long to mortal eyes,
Her soul was fitting to its kindred skies;
Celestial-like her bounty fell,
Where modest want and patient sorrow dwell ;
Want pass’d for merit at her door,
Unseen the modest were supplied,
Her constant pity fed the poor,
Then only poor, indeed, the day she died.
And, oh! for this, while sculpture decks thy shrine,
And art exhausts profusion round,
The tribute of a tear be mine,
A simple song, a sigh profound.
There Faith shall come, a pilgrim grey,
To bless the tomb that wraps thy clay;
And calm Religion shall repair
To dwell a weeping hermit there.'
Truth, Fortitude, and Friendship shall agree,
To blend their virtues while they think of thee.
Let us, let all the world agree,
To profit by resembling thee.
MAN Speaker. Fast by that shore where Thames' translucent stream, Reflects new glories on his breast, Where, splendid as the youthful poet's dream, He forms a scene beyond Elysium blest; Where sculptur'd elegance and native grace, Unite to stamp the beauties of the place ;
While sweetly blending, still are seen,
The wavy lawn, the sloping green ;
While novelty, with cautious cunning,
Through ev'ry maze of fancy running,
From China borrows aid to deck the scene :-
There sorrowing by the river's glassy bed,
Forlorn a rural bard complain’d,
All whom Augusta's bounty fed,
All whom her clemency sustain'd.
The good old sire, unconscious of decay,
The modest matron, clad in homespun grey,
The military boy, the orphan'd maid,
The shatter'd veteran, now first dismay'd;
These sadly join beside the murmuring deep,
And as they view the towers of Kew,
Call on their mistress, now no more, and weep.
Ye shady walks, ye waving greens,
Ye nodding towers, ye fairy scenes,
Let all your echoes now deplore,
That she who form’d your beauties is no more.
Man Speaker. First of the train the patient rustic came, Whose callous hand had form’d the scene, Bending at once with sorrow and with age, With many a tear and many a sigh between, “And where,” he cried, “shall now my babes have bread, Or how shall age support its feeble fire ? No lord will take me now, my vigour fled, Nor can my strength perform what they require; Each grudging master keeps the labourer bare, A sleek and idle race is all their care. My noble mistress thought not so: Her bounty, like the morning dew, Unseen, though constant, us’d to flow, And as my strength decay'd, her bounty grew."