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For a stone erected on a similar occasion at the same place
in the following year.
READER! behold a monument
That asks no sigh or tear,
Though it perpetuate the event
Of a great burial here.
On her kind present to the author, a patchwork counterpane
of her own making.
The bard, if e'er he feel at all,
Must sure be quicken'd by a call
Both on his heart and head,
To pay with tuneful thanks the care
And kindness of a lady fair,
Who deigns to deck his bed.
A bed like this, in ancient time,
On Ida's barren top sublime,
(As Homer's epic shows)
Composed of sweetest vernal flowers,
Without the aid of sun or showers,
For Jove and Juno rose.
Less beautiful, however gay,
Is that which in the scorching day
Receives the weary swain,
Who, laying his long sithe aside,
Sleeps on some bank with daisies pied,
Till roused to toil again.
What labours of the loom I see!
Looms numberless have groan'd for me!
Should every maiden come
To scramble for the patch that bears
The impress of the robe she wears,
The bell would toll for some.
And oh, what havoc would ensue !
This bright display of every hue
All in a moment fled !
As if a storm should strip the bowers
Of all their tendrils, leaves, and flowers-
Each pocketing a shred.
Thanks then to every gentle fair
Who will not come to peck me bare
As bird of borrow'd feather,
And thanks to one above them all,
The gentle fair of Pertenhall,
Who put the whole together. August, 1790.
IN MEMORY OF THE LATE JOHN THORNTON,
Poets attempt the noblest task they can,
Praising the Author of all good in man,
And, next, commemorating worthies lost,
The dead in whom that good abounded most.
Thee, therefore, of commercial fame, but more
Famed for thy probity from shore to shore,
Thee, Thornton ! worthy in some page to shine,
As honest and more eloquent than mine,
I mourn; or, since thrice happy thou must be,
The world, no longer thy abode, not thee.
Thee to deplore were grief mispent indeed ;
It were to weep that goodness has its meed,
That there is bliss prepared in yonder sky,
And glory for the virtuous when they die.
What pleasure can the miser's fondled hoard Or spendthrift's prodigal excess afford, Sweet as the privilege of healing woe By virtue suffer'd combating below ? That privilege was thine; Heaven gave thee means To illumine with delight the saddest scenes, Till thy appearance chased the gloom, forlorn As midnight, and despairing of a morn. Thou hadst an industry in doing good, Restless as his who toils and sweats for food ;
Avarice in thee was the desire of wealth
By rust unperishable or by stealth,
And if the genuine worth of gold depend
On application to its noblest end,
Thine had a value in the scales of Heaven
Surpassing all that mine or mint had given.
And, though God made thee of a nature prone
To distribution boundless of thy own,
And still by motives of religious force
Impelld thee more to that heroic course,
Yet was thy liberality discreet,
Nice in its choice, and of a temper'd heat;
And, though in act unwearied, secret still,
As in some solitude the summer rill
Refreshes, where it winds, the faded green,
And cheers the drooping flowers, unheard, unseen.
Such was thy charity: no sudden start,
After long sleep, of passion in the heart,
But stedfast principle, and, in its kind,
Of close relation to the Eternal Mind,
Traced easily to its true source above,
To him whose works bespeak his nature, love.
Thy bounties all were Christian, and I make
This record of thee for the Gospel's sake ;
That the incredulous themselves may see
Its use and power exemplified in thee.
“ I could be well content, allowed the use
Of past experience, and the wisdom gleand
From worn-out follies, now acknowledged such,
To recommence life's trial, in the hope
Of fewer errors, on a second proof!"
Thus, while gray evening lull’d the wind, and
Fresh odours from the shrubbery at my side,
Taking my lonely winding walk, I mused,
And held accustom'd conference with
my When from within it thus a voice replied: “ Couldst thou in truth ? and art thou taught at
This wisdom, and but this, from all the past ?
Is not the pardon of thy long arrear,
Time wasted, violated laws, abuse
Of talents, judgment, mercies, better far
Than opportunity vouchsafed to err
With less excuse, and, haply, worse effect ?"
I heard, and acquiesced: then to and fro
Oft pacing, as the mariner his deck,
My gravelly bounds, from self to human kind
I pass’d, and next consider'd—what is man.
Knows he his origin ? can he ascend
By reminiscence to his earliest date ?
Slept he in Adam ? And in those from him