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By a blest husband guided, Mary came
From nearest kindred, Vernon her new name;
She came, though meek of soul, in seemly pride
Of happiness and hope, a youthful bride.
O dread reverse! if aught be so, which proves
That God will chasten whom he dearly loves.
Faith bore her up through pains in mercy given,
And troubles that were each a step to Heaven:
Two babes were laid in earth before she died;
A third now slumbers at the mother's side;
Its sister-twin survives, whose smiles afford
A trembling solace to her widowed lord.
Reader! if to thy bosom cling the pain Of recent sorrow combated in vain;
Or if thy cherished grief have failed to thwart
Time still intent on his insidious part,
And pray that in his faithful breast the grace
Of resignation find a hallowed place.
IN THE GROUNDS OF COLEORTON HALL, THE SEAT OF
THE LATE SIR G. H. BEAUMONT, BART.
In these grounds stands the Parish Church, wherein is a mural monument bearing an inscription which, in deference to the earnest
request of the deceased, is confined to name, dates, and these words:"Enter not into judgment with thy servant, O LORD!"
Yet here at least, though few have numbered days
That shunned so modestly the light of praise,
His graceful manners, and the temperate ray
Of that arch fancy which would round him play,
Brightening a converse never known to swerve
From courtesy and delicate reserve;
That sense, the bland philosophy of life,
Which checked discussion ere it warmed to strife;
Those rare accomplishments, and varied powers,
Might have their record among sylvan bowers.
Oh, fled for ever! vanished like a blast
That shook the leaves in myriads as it passed;-
Gone from this world of earth, air, sea, and sky,
From all its spirit-moving imagery,
Intensely studied with a painter's eye,
A poet's heart; and, for congenial view,
Portrayed with happiest pencil, not untrue
To common recognitions while the line
Flowed in a course of sympathy divine;-
Oh! severed, too abruptly from delights.
That all the seasons shared with equal rights;-
Rapt in the grace of undismantled age,
From soul-felt music, and the treasured page
Lit by that evening lamp which loved to shed
Its mellow lustre round thy honoured head;
While friends beheld thee give with eye, voice, mien,
More than theatric force to Shakspeare's scene;
If thou hast heard me if thy Spirit know
Aught of these bowers and whence their pleasures flow,
If things in our remembrance held so dear,
And thoughts and projects fondly cherished here,
To thy exalted nature only seem
Time's vanities, light fragments of earth's dream-
Rebuke us not! - The mandate is obeyed
That said, "Let praise be mute where I am laid;"
The holier deprecation, given in trust
Lulling the mourner's best good thoughts asleep,
Pilfering regrets we would, but cannot keep;
Bear with him-judge Him gently who makes known To the cold marble, waits upon thy dust;
His bitter loss by this memorial stone;
Yet have we found how slowly genuine grief
From silent admiration wins relief.
Too long abashed thy name is like a rose
That doth "within itself its sweetness close;"
A drooping daisy changed into a cup
In which her bright-eyed beauty is shut up.
Within these groves, where still are flitting by
Shades of the past, oft noticed with a sigh,
Shall stand a votive tablet, haply free,
When towers and temples fall, to speak of thee!
If sculptured emblems of our mortal doom
Recal not there the wisdom of the tomb,
Green ivy risen from out the cheerful earth,
Will fringe the lettered stone; and herbs spring furth,
Whose fragrance, by soft dews and rain unbound,
Shall penetrate the heart without a wound;
While truth and love their purposes fulfil.
Commemorating genius, talent, skill,
That could not lie concealed where thou wert known,
Thy virtues He must judge, and He alone,
The God upon whose mercy they are thrown.
WITH copious eulogy in prose or rhyme
Graven on the tomb we struggle against Time,
Alas, how feebly but our feelings rise
And still we struggle when a good man dies:
Such offering BEAUMONT dreaded and forbade,
A spitit meek in self-abasement clad.
WRITTEN AFTER THE DEATH OF
To a good man of most dear memory
This stone is sacred. Here he lies apart
From the great city where he first drew breath,
Was reared and taught; and humbly earned his bread,
To the strict labours of the merchant's desk
By duty chained. Not seldom did those tasks
Tease, and the thought of time so spent depress
His spirit, but the recompense was high;
Firm independence, bounty's rightful sire;
Aflections, warm as sunshine, free as air;
And when the precious hours of leisure came,
Knowledge and wisdom, gained from converse sweet
With books, or while he ranged the crowded streets
With a keen eye, and overflowing heart:
So genius triumphed over seeming wrong,
And poured out truth in works by thoughtful love
Inspired works potent over smiles and tears.
And as round mountain-tops the lightning plays,
Thus innocently sported, breaking forth
As from a cloud of some grave sympathy,
Humour and wild instinctive wit, and all
The vivid flashes of his spoken words.
From the most gentle creature nursed in fields*
*This way of indicating the name of my lamented friend has been found fault with; perhaps rightly so; but I may say in justification of the double sense of the word, that similar allusions are not uncommon in epitaphs. One of ¡ the best in our language in verse, I ever read, was upon a person who bore the name of Palmer; and the course of the thought, throughout, turned upon the Life of the Departed, oonsidered as a pilgrimage. Nor can I think that the objection in the present case will have much force with any one who remembers Charles Lamb's beautiful sonnet addressed to his own name, and ending
Had been derived the name he bore- -a name,
Wherever Christian altars had been raised,
Hallowed to meekness and to innocence;
And if in him meekness at times gave way,
Provoked out of herself by troubles strange,
Many and strange, that hung about his life; †
Still, at the centre of his being, lodged
A soul by resignation sanctified:
And if too often, self-reproached, he felt
That innocence belongs not to our kind,
A power that never ceased to abide in him,
Charity, 'mid the multitude of sins
That she can cover, left not his exposed
To an unforgiving judgment from just Heaven.
O, he was good, if e'er a good man lived?
Palmers all our fathers were;
I, a Palmer lived here,
And traveyled sore, till worn with age,
I ended this world's pilgrimage,
On the blest Ascension Day
In the cheerful month of May,
One thousand with three hundred seven,
And took my journey hence to Heaven.
From a reflecting mind and sorrowing heart
Those simple lines flowed with an earnest wish,
Though but a doubting hope, that they might serve
Fitly to guard the precious dust of him
Whose virtues called them forth. That aim is missed;
For much that truth most urgently required
Had from a faltering pen been asked in vain:
Yet, haply, on the printed page received,
The imperfect record, there, may stand unblamed
As long as verse of mine shall breathe the air
Of memory, or see the light of love.
"No deed of mine shall shame thee, gentle name!" [In "Hierologus, a Church Tour through England and Wales," I have met with an epitaph, which is probably the one alluded to above; the passage also contains another epitaph more directly pertinent to the subject.
.. Catholicus.-How intuitively do our ancestors seem to have been possessed of taste, as in their architecture, so also in their poetry! I question whether you could bring forward one instance in the thirteenth, fourteenth, or Cath.-Weever, who is my authority, gives it so; and I fifteenth centuries, of an epitaph to which the most fas-presume the inscription is not now in being to correct him, tidious taste could object. Even that seducer of our if wrong. The other to which I referred is much later. Elisabethan writers, a pun, was managed by them, always and commemorates the munificent London merchant Lambe with beauty, sometimes with dignity. I remember two instances in particular. The first is in a Kentish epitaph on one Palmer.
Thou wert a scorner of the fields, my friend,
But more in show than truth; and from the fields,
And from the mountains, to thy rural grave
Transported, my soothed spirit hovers o'er
Its green untrodden turf, and blowing flowers;
And taking up a voice shall speak (tho' still
Awed by the theme's peculiar sanctity
Which words less free presumed not even to touch)
Of that fraternal love, whose heaven-lit lamp
From infancy, through manhood, to the last
Of threescore years, and to thy latest hour,
Burnt on with ever-strengthening light, enshrined
Within thy bosom.
Palæophilus. Very beautiful indeed! But is that the right date? It seems to me too early for the flowing nature of the verse.
O Lambe of God, who sin dost take away
And like a Lambe was offered up for sin,
While I, poore Lambe, from out Thy flock did stray,
Yet Thou, good Lord, vouchsafe thy Lamb to win
Back to Thy fold, and hold thy Lambe therein,
That at the days, which Lambes and goates shall sever
Of thy choice Lambes, Lambe may be one for ever."
p. 70.-H. R.] [t See Talfourd's "Final Memorials of Charles Lamb." -H. R.]
"Wonderful" hath been!
The love established between man and man,
"Passing the love of women;" and between
Man and his help-mate in fast wedlock joined
Through God, is raised a spirit and soul of love
Without whose blissful influence Paradise
Had been no Paradise; and earth were now
A waste where creatures bearing human form,
Direst of savage beasts, would roam in fear,
Joyless and comfortless. Our days glide on;
And let him grieve who cannot choose but grieve
That he hath been an elm without his vine,
(What weakness prompts the voice to tell it here?).
Was as the love of mothers; and when years,
Lifting the boy to man's estate, had called
The long-protected to assume the part
Of a protector, the first filial tie
Was undissolved; and, in or out of sight,
Remained imperishably interwoven
. With life itself. Thus, 'mid a shifting world,
Did they together testify of time
And season's difference - a double tree
With two collateral steins sprung from one root;
Such were they-such thro' life they might have been
In union, in partition only such;
Otherwise wrought the will of the Most High;
Yet, thro' all visitations and all trials,
Still they were faithful; like two vessels launched
From the same beach one ocean to explore
With mutual help, and sailing to their league
True, as inexorable winds, or bars
Floating or fixed of polar ice, allow.
Is broken; yet why grieve? for Time but holds
His moiety in trust, till joy shall lead
And her bright dower of clustering charities,
That, round his trunk and branches, might have clung To the blest world where parting is unknown.
Enriching and adorning. Unto thee,
Not so enriched, not so adorned, to thee
Was given (say rather thou of later birth
Wert given to her) a sister—'t is a word
Timidly uttered, for she lives, the meek,
The self-restraining, and the ever-kind ·
In whom thy reason and intellgent heart
Found for all interests, hopes, and tender cares,
All softening, humanising, hallowing powers,
Whether withheld, or for her sake unsought—
More than sufficient recompense!
Acknowledges God's grace, his mercy feels,
And in its depth of gratitude is still.
But turn we rather, let my spirit turn
With thine, O silent and invisible friend!
To those rare intervals, nor rare nor brief,
When reunited, and by choice withdrawn
From miscellaneous converse, ye were taught
That the remembrance of foregone distress,
And the worse fear of future ill (which oft
Doth hang around it, as a sickly child
Upon its mother) may be both alike
Disarmed of power to unsettle present good
So prized, and things inward and outward held
In such an even balance, that the heart
O gift divine of quiet sequestration!
The hermit, exercised in prayer and praise,
And feeding daily on the hope of heaven,
Is happy in his vow, and fondly cleaves
To life-long singleness; but happier far
Was to your souls, and, to the thoughts of others,
A thousand times more beautiful appeared,
Your dual loneliness. The sacred tie
EXTEMPORE EFFUSION UPON THE DEATH
OF JAMES HOGG.
WHEN first, descending from the moorlands,
I saw the stream of Yarrow glide
Along a bare and open valley,
The Ettrick Shepherd was my guide.
When last along its banks I wandered,
Through groves that had begun to shed
Their golden leaves upon the pathways,
My steps the Border-minstrel led.
The mighty minstrel breathes no longer,
Mid mouldering ruins low he lies;
And death upon the braes of Yarrow,
Has closed the Shepherd-poet's eyes:
Nor has the rolling year twice measured,
From sign to sign, its stedfast course,
Since every mortal power of Coleridge
Was frozen at its marvellous source;
The 'rapt one, of the godlike forehead,
The heaven-eyed creature sleeps in earth:
And Lamb, the frolic and the gentle,
Has vanished from his lonely hearth.
Like clouds that rake the mountain-summits,
Or waves that own no curbing hand,
How fast has brother followed brother,
From sunshine to the sunless land!
* This expression is borrowed from a sonnet by Mr. G. Bell, the author of a small volume of poems lately printed at Penrith. Speaking of Skiddaw, he says, Yon dark cloud 'rakes,' and shrouds its noble brow." These poems, though incorrect often in expression and metre, do honour to their unpretending author, and may be added to the number of proofs daily occurring, that a finer perception of the appearance of nature is spreading through the humbler classes of society.
His eyes have closed! And ye, lov'd books, no more
Shall Southey feed upon your precious lore,
To works that ne'er shall forfeit their renown,
Adding immortal labours of his own —
Whether he traced historic truth with zeal
For the State's guidance, or the Church's weal,
Or Fancy, disciplined by studious art,
Inform'd his pen, or wisdom of the heart,
Or judgments sanctioned in the patriot's mind
By reverence for the rights of all mankind.
Wide were his aims, yet in no human breast
Could private feelings meet for holier rest.
His joys, his griefs, have vanished like a cloud
From Skiddaw's top; but he to heaven was vowed
Through his industrious life, and Christian faith
Calmed in his soul the fear of change and death.
WHY should we weep or mourn, Angelic boy,
For such thou wert ere from our sight removed,
Holy, and ever dutiful - beloved
From day to day with never-ceasing joy,
And hopes as dear as could the heart employ
In aught to earth pertaining? Death has proved
His might, nor less his mercy, as behoved
Death conscious that he only could destroy
The bodily frame. That beauty is laid low
To moulder in a far-off field of Rome;
But Heaven is now, blest Child, thy Spirit's home;
When such divine communion, which we know,
Is felt, thy Roman burial-place will be
Surely a sweet remembrancer of thee.