1 THE paper black'd a full inch deep,
2 At every corner seem'd to weep;
3 The seal with fearful speed was broke,
4 When thus the Writer sadly spoke:
5 "Oh Charles, belov'd! my dear is dead,
6 " And every bliss for ever fled;
7 "You and your wife, her constant friend,
8 " Her fun'ral rites must now attend. "
9 The day approach'd; the solemn bell
10 In dismal notes rang Laura's knell;
11 Charles and his mate in blackness clad,
12 With rueful thoughts and faces sad
13 Saw her interr'd heard "dust to dust,"
14 And cry'd to this all come, and must.
15 The coaches now in sad array
16 Pace back the mournful late trod way;
17 Whilst floating plumes on shoulders borne,
18 The dusty lanes and streets adorn.
[Page 10]
19 The widower sad, alone they found,
20 In sable length upon the ground.
21 His consolation, Charles essay'd,
22 And many a weary moment stay'd;
23 From Scripture cull'd a sacred store,
24 And drain'd, from heathenish learned lore,
25 All that was ever thought or said
26 To prove we can't call back the dead;
27 He sooth'd his tears at ev'ry gush,
28 And saw at length his sorrows hush.
29 Oh! Charles, James cried, thou'rt very kind!
30 This shall live long within my mind;
31 How shall the friendship I repay
32 Thou'st prov'd upon this mournful day
33 Which tore my dearest wife away
34 And placed her with her kindred clay?
35 Charles rub'd his cheek, and thus replied,
36 With head a little turn'd aside
37 Why, dearest James, thou shalt to me
38 Be just the friend I've been to thee;
39 Would Fate grant that, 'tis all I ask,
40 Be mine the SORROW, thine the TASK!


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About this text

Title (in Source Edition): THE FUNERAL.
Themes: death
Genres: occasional poem

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Source edition

Cowley, Mrs. (Hannah), 1743-1809. The Poetry of Anna Matilda. London: printed by John Bell, British Library, Strand, Bookseller to His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales. M DCC LXXXVIII., 1788, pp. []-10. [8],139,[1]p.; 8⁰. (ESTC T90094; OTA K073164.000) (Page images digitized by University of Minnesota Library.)

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