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Thy tinsel bosom seems a mint
Of new-coined treasure; A paradise, that has no stint,
30 No change, no measure ; A painted cask, but nothing in't,
Nor wealth, nor pleasure.
Vain earth! that falsely thus compliest
With man; vain man, that thou reliest
35 On earth : vain man, thou doat'st; vain earth, thou liest. What mean dull souls in this high measure
In earth's base wares, whose greatest treasure
Is dross and trash;
40 The height of whose enchanting pleasure
Is but a flash?
Are these the goods that thou suppliest
Us mortals with ? Are these the highest ?
44 Can these bring cordial peace? False world, thou liest.
TO THE MEMORY OF MR. OLDHAM.
Farewell, too little and too lately known,
Whom I began to think, and call my own;
For sure our souls were near allied, and thine
Cast in the same poetic mould with mine.
One coinmon note on either lyre did strike,
And knaves and fools we both abhorred alike.
To the same goal did both our studies drive;
The last set out, the soonest did arrive.
Thus Nisus fell upon the slippery place,
Whilst his young friend performed, and won the race.
Oh early ripe! to thy abundant store
What could advancing age have added more?
It might (what nature never gives the young)
Have taught the numbers of thy native tongue.
But satire needs not those, and wit will shine
Through the harsh cadence of a rugged line.
A noble error, and but seldom made,
When poets are by too much force betrayed ;
'Thy generous fruits, though gathered ere their prime,
Still showed a quickness; and maturing time
But mellows what we write, to the dull sweets of rhyme.
Once more, hail, and farewell; farewell, thou young,
But, ah too short, Marcellus of our tongue !
Thy brows with ivy and with laurels bound;
But fate and gloomy night encompass thee around. 25
AN EPITAPH ON THE EXCELLENT COUNTESS OF
The chief perfection of both sexes joined,
With neither's vice nor vanity combined ;
Of this our age the wonder, love, and care,
The example of the following, and despair;
Such beauty, that from all hearts love must flow, 5
Such majesty, that none durst tell her so;
A wisdom of so large and potent sway,
Rome's Senate might have wished, her Conclave may :
Which did to earthly thoughts so seldom bow,
Alive she scarce was less in heaven than now;
So void of the least pride, to her alone
These radiant excellencies seemed unknown ;
Such once there was; but let thy grief appear,
Reader, there is not: Huntingdon lies here.
In this niarble buried lies
Beauty may enrich the skies,
And add light to Phæbus' eyes;
Sweeter than Aurora's air,
When she paints the lilies fair,
And gilds cowslips with her hair ;
Chaster than the virgin spring,
Ere her blossoms she doth bring,
Or cause Philomel to sing.
If such goodness live 'mongst men,
Tell me it : 1 [shall] know then
She is come from heaven again.
ON THE RELIGIOUS MEMORY OF MRS. CATHE
RINE THOMSON, MY CHRISTIAN FRIEND, When Faith and Love, which parted from thee never, Had ripened thy just soul to dwell with God, Meekly thou didst resign this earthly load Of death, called life; which us from life doth sever. Thy works and alms, and all thy good endeavour, 5 Stayed not behind, nor in the grave were trod; But, as Faith pointed with her golden rod, Followed thee up to joy and bliss for ever. Love led them on, and Faith, who knew them best, Thy handmaids, clad them o'er with purple beams And azure wings, that up they flew so drest, And spake the truth of thee on glorious themes Before the Judge; who thenceforth bid thee rest, And drink thy fill of pure immortal, streams.
AN EPITAPH UPON HUSBAND AND WIFE, WHO
DIED AND WERE BURIED TOGETHER.
To these, whom death again did wed,
This grave's their second marriage-bed ;
For though the hand of Fate could force
'Twixt soul and body a divorce,
It could not sunder man and wife,
'Cause they both lived but one life.
Peace, good reader, do not weep;
Peace, the lovers are asleep:
They (sweet turtles) folded lie
In the last knot that love could tie.
And though they lie as they were dead,
Their pillow stone, their sheets of lead;
(Pillow hard, and sheets not warm)
Love made the bed, they'll take no harm.
Let them sleep, let them sleep on,
Till this stormy night be gone,
And the eternal morrow dawn;
Then the curtains will be drawn,
And they wake into that light,
Whose day shall never die in night.
Here lies a piece of Christ ; a star in dust ;
A vein of gold ; a china dish that must
Be used in heaven, when God shall feast the just.
EPITAPH ON COMPANIONS LEFT BEHIND IN THE
I were unkind unless that I did shed,
Before I part, some tears upon our dead :
And when my eyes be dry, I will not cease
In heart to pray their bones may rest in peace :
Their better parts (good souls) I know were given 5
With an intent they should return to heaven:
Their lives they spent to the last drop of blood,
Seeking God's glory and their country's good.
And as a valiant soldier rather dies,
Than yields his courage to his enemies;
And stops their way with his hewed flesh, when death
Hath quite deprived him of his strength and breath;
So have they spent themselves; and here they lie,
A famous mark of our discovery.
We that survive, perchance may end our days
In some employment meriting no praise;
And in a dung-hill rot, when no man names
The memory of us, but to our shames.
They have outlived this fear, and their brave ends
Will ever be an honour to their friends.
Why drop you so, mine eyes? Nay rather pour
My sad departure in a solemn shower.
The winter's cold, that lately froze our blood,
Now were it so extreme, might do this good,
As make these tears bright pearls, which I would lay 25
Tombed safely with you till doom's fatal day ;
That in this solitary place, where none
Will ever come to breathe a sigh or groan,
Some remnant might be extant of the true
And faithful love I ever tendered you.