ON THE DEATH OF A YOUNG LADY.
1 YES, it is past; the fatal stroke is given.
2 Our pious sorrows own the hand of heaven.
3 How short our joys! incumber'd life how vain!
4 Still vex'd with evil's never-ceasing train;
5 While roll the hours which lead each fleeting year,
6 Each asks a sigh, and each demands a tear.
7 O'er pleasing scenes the mind with rapture roves,
8 Grasps in idea all its hopes or loves:
9 Snatch'd from its view the pleasing scenes decay,
10 And the fair vision melts in shades away.
11 Of youth, of beauty, and of wit the boast,
12 O lov'd for ever, and too early lost,
13 Sweet maid, for thee now mingling with the dead,
14 Her sacred griefs the tuneful Muse shall shed;
15 The soft remembrance of thy charms to save
16 She plants with all her bays thy hallow'd grave.
17 Ye too, companions of her happier days,
18 Heirs of her charms, and rivals of her praise,
19 Amid the circles of the young and gay
20 Your years unheeded urge their stealing way,
21 While mixt with pleasure's ever-smiling train,
22 Ye know no sorrows, and ye feel no pain;
23 Yet, when no more the pulse tumultuous beats,
24 Nor the pleas'd sense each flattering tale repeats,
25 Let calm reflection the sad moral teach,
26 That bliss below evades our eager reach;
27 That virtue only grants the real charm,
28 Gives wit to win, and beauty power to warm;
29 And tho' like hers, whose recent fate we mourn,
30 And ask your pity for a sister's urn,
31 Your beauties shine in all their bloom confest,
32 'Mid gazing slaves contending to be blest,
33 Yet think like hers may soon those beauties fade;
34 Like hers your glories in the dust be laid.
35 Time's hardy steps in silence swift advance,
36 Dim the bright ray that darts the fiery glance,
37 And Age, dread herald of Death's awful reign,
38 Blasts every grace, and freezes every vein.
39 When with a mother's joy, a mother's fear,
40 The thoughtful parent dropt the silent tear,
41 Gaz'd on her child, and saw new beauties rise,
42 Glow in her cheeks, and sparkle in her eyes,
43 In expectation plann'd each hope of life,
44 The sister, daughter, mother, friend, and wife;
45 Ah fleeting joys! how soon those hopes were o'er!
46 We doom'd to mourn, and she to charm no more.
47 The waning moon shall fill her wasted horn,
48 And nature's radiance gild the orient morn,
49 The smiling spring with charms renew'd appear,
50 The sleeping blossoms haste to deck the year,
51 But bloom no more this fair departed flower,
52 Nor wak'd by genial sun, nor vernal shower.
53 How vain, alas! was all thy father's art,
54 Vain were the sighs which swell'd thy mother's heart.
55 Again I see thee just expiring lie,
56 Pale thy cold lip, half clos'd thy languid eye,
57 Thy guardian Innocence beside thee stands,
58 And patient Faith uplifts her holy hands,
59 Teach thee with smiles to meet the stroke of Death,
60 Calm all thy pangs, and ease thy struggling breath.
61 Resign'd, dear maid, to earth's maternal breast,
62 May sister Seraphs chant thy soul to rest.
63 There shall the constant Amaranthus bloom,
64 And wings of Zephyrs shed the morn's perfume.
65 O'er thy sad hearse, fair emblems of the dead,
66 By virgin hands are dying lilies shed. [Page 27]
67 The weeping Graces shall thy tomb surround;
68 The Loves with broken darts shall strew the ground;
69 In vain for thee they wak'd the fond desires,
70 Wove myrtle wreaths, and fann'd their purer fires.
71 The youthful God, who joins the nuptial bands,
72 In vain expecting, near his altar stands;
73 Fate spread the cloud: his torch extinct, he flies,
74 And veils with saffron robe his streaming eyes.
75 Yet O, while crown'd with never-fading flowers,
76 Thy spirit wanders thro' Elysian bowers,
77 If plaintive sounds of mortal grief below
78 Reach the blest seats, and waft our tender woe,
79 Hear, happy shade; while thus our mortal lays
80 This monument of soft affection raise.
81 By gentle ties of kindred birth allied,
82 The Muse, that sports on Camus' willow'd side,
83 In Memory's lofty dome inscribes thy name,
84 And with thy beauties strives to mix her fame.