[Page 281]


Stet quicunque volet potens Aulæ culmine lubrico, &c. Senec.
1 Interr'd beneath this Marble Stone,
2 Lie Saunt'ring Jack, and Idle Joan.
3 While rolling Threescore Years and One
4 Did round this Globe their Courses run;
5 If Human Things went Ill or Well;
6 If changing Empires rose or fell;
7 The Morning past, the Evening came,
8 And found this Couple still the same.
9 They Walk'd and Eat, good Folks: What then?
10 Why then They Walk'd and Eat again:
11 They soundly slept the Night away:
12 They did just Nothing all the Day:
13 And having bury'd Children Four,
14 Wou'd not take Pains to try for more.
15 Nor Sister either had, nor Brother:
16 They seem'd just Tally'd for each other.
17 Their Moral and Oeconomy
18 Most perfectly They made agree:
19 Each Virtue kept it's proper Bound,
20 Nor Trespass'd on the other's Ground.
21 Nor Fame, nor Censure They regarded:
22 They neither Punish'd, nor Rewarded.
[Page 282]
23 He car'd not what the Footmen did:
24 Her Maids She neither prais'd, nor chid:
25 So ev'ry Servant took his Course;
26 And bad at First, They all grew worse.
27 Slothful Disorder fill'd His Stable;
28 And sluttish Plenty deck'd Her Table.
29 Their Beer was strong; Their Wine was Port;
30 Their Meal was large; Their Grace was short.
31 They gave the Poor the Remnant-meat,
32 Just when it grew not fit to eat.
33 They paid the Church and Parish-Rate;
34 And took, but read not the Receit:
35 For which They claim'd their Sunday's Due,
36 Of slumb'ring in an upper Pew.
37 No Man's Defects sought They to know;
38 So never made Themselves a Foe.
39 No Man's good Deeds did They commend;
40 So never rais'd Themselves a Friend.
41 Nor cherish'd They Relations poor:
42 That might decrease Their present Store:
43 Nor Barn nor House did they repair:
44 That might oblige Their future Heir.
45 They neither Added, nor Confounded:
46 They neither Wanted, nor Abounded.
47 Each Christmas They Accompts did clear;
48 And wound their Bottom round the Year.
[Page 283]
49 Nor Tear, nor Smile did They imploy
50 At News of Public Grief, or Joy.
51 When Bells were Rung, and Bonfires made;
52 If ask'd, They ne'er deny'd their Aid:
53 Their Jugg was to the Ringers carry'd;
54 Who ever either Dy'd, or Marry'd.
55 Their Jugg was to the Ringers carry'd;
56 Who ever either Dy'd, or Marry'd.
57 Their Billet at the Fire was found;
58 Who ever was Depos'd, or Crown'd.
59 Nor Good, nor Bad, nor Fools, nor Wise;
60 They wou'd not learn, nor cou'd advise:
61 Without Love, Hatred, Joy, or Fear,
62 They led a kind of as it were:
63 Nor Wish'd, nor Car'd, nor Laugh'd, nor Cry'd:
64 And so They liv'd; and so They dy'd.


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About this text

Title (in Source Edition): An EPITAPH.
Author: Matthew Prior
Genres: epitaph

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Source edition

Prior, Matthew, 1664-1721. Poems on Several Occasions [English poems only]. London: Printed for JACOB TONSON at Shakespear's-Head over against Katharine-Street in the Strand, and JOHN BARBER upon Lambeth-Hill. MDCCXVIII., 1718, pp. 281-283. [42],506,[6]p.: ill.; 2°. (ESTC T075639) (Page images digitized from a copy in the Bodleian Library [H 6.8 Art.].)

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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 Matthew Prior