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All that this languid eye can now survey
Witness’d the vigour of thy fleeting day:
And witness'd all, as speaks this anguisht tear,
The solemn progress of thy early bier.
Sacred the walls that took thy parting breath,
Own'd thee in life, encompass'd thee in death!
Oh! I can feel, as felt the sorrowing friend,
Who o'er tliy corse in agony did bend;
Dead as thyself, to all the world inspires,
Paid the last rites mortality requires ;
Clos'd the dim eye, that beam'd with mind before ;
Composed the icy limbs to move no more!
Some power the picture from my memory tear,
Or feeling will rush onward to despair.
Immortal hopes ! come, lend your blest relief;
And raise the soul, bow'd down with mortal grief.
Teach it to look for comfort in the skies :
Earth cannot give what Heav'n's high will denies.
Cambridge, Nov. 1806.
OCCASIONED BY THE SECOND OF H. KIRKE WHITE.
YES; fled already is thy vital fire,
And the fair promise of thy early bloom
Lost, in youth's morn extinct; sunk in the tomb; Mute in the grave, sleeps thy enchanted lyre!
And is it vainly that our souls aspire ?
Falsely does the presaging heart presume
That we shall live beyond life's cares and gloom ; Grasps it eternity with high desire,
But to imagine bliss, feel woe and die ;
Leaving survivors to worse pangs than death?
Not such the sanction of the ETERNAL MIND.
The barmonious order of the starry sky,
And awful revelation's angel-breath
Assure these hopes their full effect shall find. 25th Dec, 1806.
THE HOMER OF MR. H, KIRKE WHITE.
Presented to me by his Brother, J. Neville White.
BARD of brief days, but ah, of deathless fame!
While on these awful leaves
fond On which thine late have dwelt, thy hand late prest, I pause; and gaze, regretful on thy name. By neither chance, nor envy, time, nor flaine,
Be it from this its- mansion dispossest!
But thee, ETERNITY clasps to her breast, And in celestial splendor thrones thy claim.
No more with mortal pencil shalt thou trace
An imitative radiance : * thy pure lyre
Springs from our changeful atmosphere's embrace,
And beams and breathes in empyreal fire:
The Homeric and Miltonian sacred tone
Responsive hail that lyre congenial to their own.
TO THE MEMORY OF H. K. WHITE.
IF worth, if genius, to the world are dear,
To Henry's shade devote no common tear.
His worth on no precarious tenure hung,
From genuine piety his virtues sprung;
If pure benevolence, if steady sense,
Can to the feeling heart delight dispense;
If all the highest efforts of the mind,
Exalted, noble, elegant, refin'd,
Call for fond sympathy's heart-felt regret,
Ye sons of genius pay the mournful debt :
His friends can truly speak how large his claim,
And, “ Life was only wanting to his fame."
Art Thou, indeed, dear youth, for ever fled?
So quickly number'd with the silent dead.
* Alluding to his pencild sketch of a head surrounded with a glory.
Too sure I read it in the downcast eye,
Hear it in mourning friendship's stifled sigh:
Ah! could esteem, or admiration, save
So dear an object from th' untimely grave,
This transcript faint had not essay'd to tell,
The loss of one belov’d, rever'd so well.
Vainly I try, even eloquence were weak,
The silent sorrow that I feel, to speak.
No more my hours of pain thy voice will cheer,
And bind my spirit to this lower sphere;
Bend o'er iny suffering frame with gentle sigh,
And bid new fire relume my languid eye :
No more the pencil's mimic art command,
And with kind pity guide my trembling hand.
Nor dwell upon the page in fond regard,
To trace the meaning of the Tuscan bard.
Vain all the pleasures, Thou can'st not inspire,
And, “ in my breast, th' imperfect joys expire.”
I fondly hop'd thy hand might grace my shrine,
And little deem'd I should have wept o'er thine ;
In fancy's eye methought I saw thy lyre,
With virtue's energies each bosom fire:
I saw admiring nations press around,
Eager to catch the animating sound:
And when at length sunk in the shades of night,
To brighter worlds thy spirit wing’d its flight;
Thy country hail'd thy venerated shade,
And each grac'd honor to thy memory paid.
Such was the fate hope pictur'd to my view-
But who, alas ! e'er found hope's visions true?
And, ah! a dark presage, when last we met,
Sadden'd the social hour with deep regret ;
When Thou thy portrait from the minstrel drew,
The living Edwin starting on my view-
Silent, I ask'd of heav'n a lengthen'd date,
His genius thine, but not like thine his fate.
Shuddering I gaz'd, and saw too sure reveal’d,
The fatal truth, by hope till then conceald.
Too strong the portion of celestial flame,
For its weak tenement, the fragile frame;
Too soon for Us it sought its native sky,
And soar'd impervious to the mortal eye ;
Like some clear planet, shadow'd from our sight,
Leaving behind long tracks of lucid light:
So shall thy bright example fire each youth,
With love of virtue, piety, and truth.
Long o'er thy loss shall grateful Granta mourn,
And bid her sons revere thy favour'd urn.
When thy lov'd flower, “Spring's victory makes known,"
The primrose pale shall bloom for thee alone :
Around thy urn, the rosemary well spread,
Whose“ tender fragance," emblem of the dead
Shall “ teach the maid, whose bloom no longer lives,"
That" virtue every perish'd grace survives."
Farewell! sweet Moralist, heart-sick’ning grief,
Tells me in duty's paths to seek relief,
With surer aim, on faith's strong pinions rise,
And seek hope's vanish'd anchor in the skies.
Yet still on thee sball fond remembrance dwell,
And to the world thy worth delight to tell ;