[Page 246]

AN ELEGY ON THE Reverend Mr. Tho. Gouge.

TO Mr. Arthur Shallett Merchant.

Worthy SIR,

THE Subject of the following Elegy was high in your Esteem and enjoy'd a large share of your Affections. Scarce doth his Memory need the Assistance of the Muse to make it perpetual,[Page 248] But when She can at once pay her Honours to the Venerable Dead, and by this Address acknowledge the Favours She has received from the Living, 'tis a double Pleasure to

Your obliged humble Servant,
[Page 249]

TO THE MEMORY OF THE Reverend Mr. Tho. Gouge, Who Died January 8. 1699 / 1700.

1 YE Virgin Souls, whose Sweet Complaint
2 Could teach
* Psalm Cxxxvii.
Euphrates not to flow,
3 Could
Lam: 1. 2, 3.
Sion's Ruine so Divinely Paint
4 Array'd in Beauty and in Woe;
5 Awake, ye Virgin Souls, to mourn,
6 And with your Tuneful Sorrows dress a Prophet's Urn.
[Page 250]
7 O could my Lips, or Flowing Eyes
8 But imitate such Charming Grief,
9 I'de teach the Seas, and teach the Skies
10 Wailings, and Sobs, and Sympathies,
11 Nor should the Stones, or Rocks be deaf;
12 Rocks shall have Eyes, and Stones have Ears,
13 While GOUGE's Death is Mourn'd in Melody and Tears.
14 Heaven was impatient of our Crimes,
15 And sent his Minister of Death
16 To Scourge the bold Rebellion of the Times,
17 And to demand our Prophet's Breath;
18 He came commission'd for the Fates
19 Of Awful MEAD, and Charming BATES,
20 There he essay'd the Vengeance first,
21 Then took a dismal Aim and brought great GOUGE to Dust.
22 Great GOUGE to Dust! How Doleful is the Sound?
23 How vast the Stroke is? And how wide the Wound?
[Page 251]
24 Yes, 'tis a vast uncommon Death,
25 Yes, 'tis a Wound unmeasurably wide;
26 No Vulgar Mortal Dy'd
27 When he resign'd his Breath.
28 The Muse that Mourns a Nations Fall
29 Shou'd wait at GOVGE's Funeral,
30 Should mingle Majesty and Groans
31 Such as she Sings to sinking Thrones,
32 And in deep-sounding Numbers tell
33 How Sion trembled when this Pillar fell.
34 Sion grows Weak, and England Poor,
35 Nature her self with all her Store
36 Can furnish such a Pomp for Death no more.
37 The Reverend Man let all things mourn;
38 Sure he was some Aethereal Mind,
39 Fated in Flesh to be confin'd,
40 And order'd to be Born.
41 His Soul was of th' Angelick frame,
42 The same Ingredients, and the Mould the same,
43 When the Creator makes a Minister of Flame;
[Page 252]
44 He was all form'd of Heavenly Things,
45 Mortals, believe what my Urania Sings,
46 For she has seen him rise upon his Flamy Wings.
47 How would he mount, how would he fly,
48 Up thro' the Ocean of the Sky
49 Tow'rd the Coelestial Coast!
50 With what amazing swiftness soar
51 Till Earth's dark Ball was seen no more
52 And all its Mountains lost.
53 Scarce could the Muse pursue him with her Sight,
54 But, Angels, you can tell,
55 For oft you met his Wondrous Flight,
56 And knew the Stranger well;
57 Say, how he past the radiant Spheres
58 And visited your happy Seats,
59 And trac'd the well known Turnings of the Golden Streets,
60 And walk'd among the Stars.
61 Tell how he climb'd the Everlasting Hills
62 Surveying all the Realms above,
[Page 253]
63 Born on a Strong-wing'd Faith, and on the Fiery Wheels
64 Of an Immortal Love.
65 'Twas there he took a glorious Sight
66 Of the Inheritance of Saints in Light,
67 And read their Title in their Saviour's Right.
68 How oft the humble Scholar came,
69 And to your Songs he rais'd his Ears
70 To learn the Unutterable Name,
71 To view the Eternal Base that bears
72 The New Creations Frame.
73 The Countenance of God he saw
74 Full of Mercy, full of Awe,
75 The Glories of his Power, and Glories of his Grace:
76 There he beheld the Wondrous Springs
77 Of those Eternal Sacred Things
78 The Peaceful Gospel and the Fiery Law
79 In that Majestic Face.
80 That Face that all his Gazing Powers employ
81 With most profound Abasement and exalted Joy.
[Page 254]
82 The Rolls of Fate were half unseal'd,
83 He stood adoring by;
84 The Volumes open'd to his Eye,
85 And sweet Intelligence he held
86 With all his shining Kindred of the Sky.
87 Ye Seraphs that surround the Throne,
88 Tell how his Name was thro' the Pallace known,
89 How warm his Zeal was, and how like your own:
90 Speak it aloud, let half the Nation hear,
91 And bold Blasphemers shrink and fear:
92 Impudent Tongues, to blast a Prophet's Name!
93 The Poison sure was fetch'd from Hell
94 Where the old Blasphemers dwell,
95 To taint the purest Dust, and blot the whitest Fame.
96 Impudent Tongues! You should be darted thro',
97 Nail'd to your own Black Mouths, and lie
98 Useless and Dead till Slander die,
99 Till Slander die with you.
[Page 255]
100 "We saw him, say th' Ethereal Throng,
101 " We saw his warm Devotions rise,
102 "We heard the fervour of his Cries,
103 " And mixt his Praises with our Song:
104 "We knew the secret Flights of his retiring Hours,
105 " Nightly he wak'd his inward Powers,
106 "Young Israel rose to Wrestle with his God,
107 " And with unconquer'd Force scal'd the Coelestial Towers
108 "To reach the Blessing down for those that sought his Blood.
109 " Oft we beheld the Thunderer's Hand
110 "Rais'd high to crush the Factious Foe;
111 " As oft we saw the rolling Vengeance stand
112 "Doubtful t' obey the dread Command,
113 " While his ascending Pray'r witheld the falling Blow.
114 Draw the past Scenes of thy Delight
115 My Muse, and bring the Wondrous Man to Sight.
[Page 256]
116 Place him surrounded as he stood
117 With Pious Crowds, while from his Tongue
118 A Stream of Harmony ran soft along,
119 And every Ear drank in the flowing Good:
120 Softly it ran its Silver Way,
121 Till warm Devotion rais'd the Current strong;
122 Then fervid Zeal on the sweet Deluge rode,
123 Life, Love, and Glory, Grace, and Joy
124 Divinely roll'd promiscuous on the Torrent-Flood,
125 And bore our Raptur'd Sense away, and Thoughts and Souls to God.
126 O might we dwell for ever there!
127 No more return to breath this grosser Air,
128 This Atmosphere of Sin, Calamity, and Care.
129 But Heavenly Scenes soon leave the Sight
130 While we belong to Clay,
131 Passions of Terror and Delight
132 Demand alternate Sway.
133 Behold the Man whose awful Voice
134 Could well proclaim the Fiery Law,
[Page 257]
135 Kindle the Flames that Moses saw,
136 And swell the Trumpets Warlike noise.
137 He stands, the Herald of the Threatning Skies,
138 Lo, on his Reverend Brow the Frowns Divinely rise,
139 All Sinai's Thunder on his Tongue, and Lightning in his Eyes.
140 Round the high Roof the Cursès flew
141 Distinguishing each guilty Head,
142 Far from th' unequal War the Atheist fled,
143 His Kindled Arrows still pursue,
144 His Arrows strike the Atheist thro',
145 And fix him down to Dread.
146 The Marble Heart groans with an inward Wound:
147 Blaspheming Souls of harden'd Steel
148 Shriek out amaz'd at the new Pangs they feel,
149 And dread the Eccho's of the Sound.
150 The Lofty Wretch Arm'd and Array'd
151 In gaudy Pride sinks down his Impious Head,
152 Plunges in dark Despair, and mingles with the Dead.
[Page 258]
153 Now Muse assume a softer Strain,
154 Now sooth the Sinners Raging Smart,
155 Borrow of GOVGE the wondrous Art
156 To calm the Surging Conscience, and asswage the Pain.
157 He from a Bleeding God derives
158 Life for the Souls that Guilt had slain,
159 And strait the dying Rebel lives,
160 The Dead arise again.
161 The opening Skies almost obey
162 His powerful Song, a Heavenly Ray
163 Awakes Despair to Light, and sheds a cheerful Day.
164 His wondrous Voice rolls back the Spheres,
165 Recalls the Scenes of Ancient Years
166 To make the Saviour known;
167 Sweetly the flying Charmer roves
168 Thro' all his Labours and his Loves,
169 The Anguish of his Cross, and Triumphs of his Throne.
[Page 259]
170 Hark, he invites our Feet to try
171 The steep ascent of Calvary,
172 And sets the fatal Tree before our Eye:
173 See here Coelestial Sorrow reigns;
174 Rude Nails and ragged Thorns lay by
175 Ting'd with the Crimson of Redeeming Veins.
176 In wondrous Words he sung the Vital Flood
177 Where all our Sins were drown'd,
178 Words fit to heal and fit to wound,
179 Sharp as the Spear, and Balmy as the Blood.
180 In his Discourse Divine
181 Afresh the Purple Fountain flow'd,
182 Our falling Tears kept Sympathetick Time
183 And trickled to the Ground,
184 While every Accent gave a doleful Sound,
185 Sad as the breaking Heart-strings of th' Expiring God.
186 Down to the Mansions of the Dead
187 With trembling Joy our Souls are lead,
188 The Captives of his Tongue;
[Page 260]
189 There the dear Prince of Light reclines his Head
190 Darkness and Shades among.
191 With pleasing Horror we survey
192 The Caverns of the Tomb,
193 Where the Belov'd Redeemer lay
194 And shed a sweet Persume.
195 Hark, the Old Earthquake roars again
196 In GOUGE's Voice, and breaks the Chain
197 Of heavy Death, and tears the Tombs;
198 The Rising God! he comes, he comes,
199 With Throngs of waking Saints, a long triumphing Train.
200 See the bright Squadrons of the Sky,
201 Downward on Wings of Joy and Hast they fly,
202 Meet their returning Sovereign and attend him high.
203 A shining Carr the Conqueror fills
204 Form'd of a Golden Cloud;
205 Slowly the Pomp rolls up the Azure Hills,
206 Old Satan foams and yells aloud,
207 And gnaws th' Eternal Brass that binds him to the Wheels.
[Page 261]
208 The opening Gates of Bliss receive their King,
209 The Father-God Smiles on his Son,
210 Pays him the Honours he has won,
211 The lofty Thrones adore, and little Cherubs Sing.
212 Behold him on his Native Throne,
213 Glory sits fast upon his Head;
214 Dress't in new Light and Beamy Robes
215 His Hand rolls on the Seasons and the shining Globes,
216 And sways the living Worlds and Regions of the Dead.
217 GOUGE was his Envoy to this Realm below,
218 Vast was the Trust, and great his Skill,
219 Bright the Credentials he could show,
220 And Thousands own'd the Seal.
221 His Hallowed Lips could well impart
222 The Grace, the Promise, and Command:
223 He knew the Pity of EMMANUEL's Heart,
224 And Terrors of JEHOVAH's Hand.
225 How did our Souls start out to hear
226 The Embassies of Love he bore,
[Page 262]
227 While every Ear in Rapture hung
228 Upon the Charming Wonders of his Tongue.
229 Lifes busie Cares a Sacred Silence bound,
230 Attention stood with all her Powers,
231 With fixed Eyes and Awe profound,
232 Chain'd to the Pleasure of the Sound,
233 Nor knew the flying Hours.
234 But Oh! my everlasting Grief!
235 Heaven has recall'd his Envoy from our Eyes,
236 Hence Deluges of Sorrow rise,
237 Nor hope th' Impossible Relief.
238 Ye Remnants of the Sacred Tribe
239 Who feel the Loss, come share the Smart,
240 And mix your Groans with mine:
241 Where is the Tongue that can describe
242 Infinite Things with Equal Art,
243 Or Language so Divine?
244 Our Passions want the Heavenly Flame,
245 Almighty Love Breaths faintly in our Songs,
246 And Awful Threatnings languish on our Tongues;
247 HOWE is a Great, but single Name.
[Page 263]
248 Amidst the Crowd he stands alone;
249 Stands yet, but with his Starry Pinions on,
250 Dress't for the Flight and ready to be gone:
251 Eternal God, command his Stay,
252 Stretch the dear Months of his Delay;
253 O we could wish his Age were one Immortal Day!
254 But when the Flaming Chariot's come
255 And shining Guards t' attend thy Prophet Home,
256 Amidst a thousand Weeping Eyes
257 Send an Elisha down, a Soul of Equal Size,
258 Or burn the Worthless Globe, and take us to the Skies.


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Title (in Source Edition): AN ELEGY ON THE Reverend Mr. Tho. Gouge.
Author: Isaac Watts
Genres: address; elegy

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Watts, Isaac, 1674-1748. Horæ lyricæ: Poems, chiefly of the lyric kind. In two books. ... By I. Watts. London: Printed by S. and D. Bridge, for John Lawrence at the Sign of the Angel in the Poultrey. MDCCVI., 1706, pp. 246-263. [20],267,[1]p.; 8⁰. (ESTC T82397; OTA K067329.000) (Page images digitized from a copy in the Princeton Theological Seminary Library.)

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The text has been typographically modernized, but without any silent modernization of spelling, capitalization, or punctuation. The source of the text is given and all editorial interventions have been recorded in textual notes. Based on the electronic text originally produced by the TCP project, this ECPA text has been edited to conform to the recommendations found in Level 5 of the Best Practices for TEI in Libraries version 4.0.0.

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