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TO THE MEMORY OF AN HONEST MAN, MR. B. D., ADDRESSED TO HIS WIDOW.

1 When wealthy, proud, or titled fools expire,
2 (Those splendid trifles which the vain admire,)
3 The flatterer's pen, the sculptor's curious art,
4 May strike the eye but seldom reach the heart;
5 Tho' gaudy trappings did not grace his birth,
6 And undistinguished, save, by honest worth,
7 Tho' polished marble do'nt record his praise,
8 Nor humble fortune, monument can raise;
9 Tho' his low grave can boast no featured bust,
10 Celestial guardians watch his sleeping dust;
11 And Heaven hath spared his memory one friend,
12 Who knew his goodness viewed his peaceful end;
13 Then thou pure spirit deign one glance to see,
14 How sweet the task to utter truth of thee;
15 And thou sad mourner, take it from my hands,
16 This boon thy friendship from my pen demands;
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17 Nor mourn thy want of power to save his name,
18 By means, which only wealth or pride can claim.
19 Accuse not fate, but vanity despise,
20 His humble ashes will as safely rise,
21 And claim as just a title to the skies
22 As those whose marbled history proclaim
23 The only title they e'er had to fame.
24 He knew no guile, to please his chief delight,
25 Serene his conscience his intentions right;
26 His sentiments superior to his state,
27 Too noble minded for his lowly fate;
28 Since upon earth none are from error free,
29 Why should I blush to own a fault in thee?
30 From prudent caution thou didst widely roam,
31 Nor once remembered want might visit home;
32 In this wise age, well practised how to save,
33 Wealth will condemn what generous pity gave;
34 Who now will soothe thy lonely widow's care?
35 Give her, what oft thy little store did spare.
36 Presumptuous pen! be calm foreboding mind,
37 Heaven will be ever bounteous, good and kind;
38 In Mercy's annals are his deeds enroll'd,
39 The first of beings is will reward unfold.
40 And now dear mourner will you condescend
41 To accept this offering from a constant friend?
42 Ah! cease to weep thy sainted partner's fate,
43 Who, placed above this sublunary state,
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44 Must now condemn the tender flowing tear,
45 Wonder who loved so well, could wish him here;
46 Or cou'd thy sorrow, cou'd thy pining grief,
47 Restore thy husband, or bring thee relief,
48 Could gushing tears recall the spirit fled,
49 Or bursting sighs awake the sleeping dead;
50 Or could thy mourning bring him back to woes,
51 Say could thy love disturb his sweet repose?
52 Ah no! in realms of bliss remote from pain,
53 He waits the hour, to re-unite again;
54 But be reminded, (deem it not severe),
55 'Tis the reward of patient suffering here;
56 Farewell, my friend! in Heaven's gracious time,
57 Thou'lt meet thy husband in a purer clime;
58 Where boundless joy awaits the truly good,
59 And no rude storm can ever more intrude.

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    Title (in Source Edition): TO THE MEMORY OF AN HONEST MAN, MR. B. D., ADDRESSED TO HIS WIDOW.
    Themes:
    Genres: heroic couplet; address

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    Kelly, Isabella, 1759-1857. Collection of Poems and Fables on Several Occasions. London: W. Richardson, 1794, pp. 41-43. 72p. (ESTC T122123) (Page images digitized from a copy at the British Library.)

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    Typography, spelling, capitalization, and punctuation have been cautiously modernized. The source of the text is given and all significant editorial interventions have been recorded in textual notes. 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.

    Other works by Isabella Kelly (née Fordyce)