ON THE DEATH OF LADY ANSON.
ADDRESSED TO THE EARL OF HARDWICKE, HER FATHER, 1761.
1 O CROWN'D with honor, blest with length of days,
2 Thou whom the wise revere, the worthy praise;
3 Just guardian of those laws thy voice explain'd,
4 And meriting all titles thou hast gain'd —
5 Tho' still the fairest from heaven's bounty flow;
6 For good and great no monarch can bestow:
7 Yet thus, of health, of fame, of friends possest,
8 No fortune, Hardwicke, is sincerely blest.
9 All humankind are sons of sorrow born:
10 The great must suffer, and the good must mourn.
11 For say, can Wisdom's self, what late was thine,
12 Can Fortitude, without a sigh, resign?
13 Ah no! when Love, when Reason, hand in hand,
14 O'er the cold urn consenting Mourners stand,
15 The firmest heart dissolves to softness here;
16 And Piety applauds the falling tear.
17 Those sacred drops, by virtuous weakness shed,
18 Adorn the living, while they grace the dead:
19 From tender thought their source unblam'd they draw,
20 By Heaven approv'd, and true to Nature's law.
21 When his lov'd Child the Roman could not save,
22 Immortal Tully, from an early graveq
q Tullia died about the age of two and thirty. She is celebrated for her filial piety; and for having added, to the usual graces of her sex, the more solid accomplishments of knowledge and polite letters.,
23 No common forms his home-felt passion kept;
24 The sage, the patriot, in the parent, wept.
25 And O! by grief ally'd, as join'd in fame,
26 The same thy loss, thy sorrows are the same.
27 She whom the Muses, whom the Loves deplore,
28 Even she, thy pride and pleasure, is no more:
29 In bloom of years, in all her virtue's bloom,
30 Lost to thy hopes, and silent in the tomb.
31 O Season mark'd by mourning and despair!
32 Thy blasts how fatal to the young and fair?
33 For vernal freshness, for the balmy breeze,
34 Thy tainted winds came pregnant with disease:
35 Sick Nature sunk before the mortal breath,
36 That scatter'd fever, agony, and death!
37 What funerals has thy cruel ravage spread!
38 What eyes have flow'd! what noble bosoms bled!
39 Here let Reflection fix her sober view:
40 O think, who suffer, and who sigh with you.
41 See, rudely snatch'd, in all her pride of charms,
42 Bright Granby from a youthful husband's arms!
43 In climes far distant, see that husband mourn;
44 His arms revers'd, his recent laurel torn! [Page 103]
45 Behold again, at Fate's imperious call,
46 In one dread instant blooming Lincoln fall!
47 See her lov'd Lord with speechless anguish bend!
48 And, mixing tears with his, thy noblest friend,
49 Thy Pelham turn on heaven his streaming eye:
50 Again in Her, he sees a Brother die.
51 And He, who long, unshaken and serene,
52 Had Death, in each dire form of terror, seen,
53 Thro' worlds unknown, o'er unknown oceans tost,
54 By Love subdu'd, now weeps a Consort lost:
55 Now, sunk to fondness, all the man appears,
56 His front dejected, and his soul in tears!
57 Yet more: nor thou the muse's voice disdain,
58 Who fondly tries to soothe a Father's pain —
59 Let thy calm eye survey the suffering ball:
60 See kingdoms round thee verging to their fall!
61 What spring had promis'd, and what autumn yields,
62 The bread of thousands ravish'd from their fields!
63 See youth and age, th'ignoble and the great,
64 Swept to one grave, in one promiscuous fate!
65 Hear Europe groan! hear all her nations mourn!
66 And be a private wound with patience borne.
67 Think too: and Reason will confirm the thought:
68 Thy cares, for Her, are to their period brought.
69 Yes, She, fair pattern to a failing age,
70 With wit, chastis'd, with sprightly temper, sage;
71 Whom each endearing name could recommend,
72 Whom all became, wife, sister, daughter, friend,[Page 104]
73 Unwarp'd by folly, and by vice unstain'd,
74 The prize of virtue has, for ever gain'd!
75 From life escap'd, and safe on that calm shore
76 Where sin, and pain, and error are no more,
77 She now no change, nor you a fear can feel:
78 Death, to her fame, has fix'd th' eternal seal!