« AnteriorContinuar »
May truly say, Here lies an honest Man:
On Mr. GA Y.
In Westminster-Abbey, 1732.
F Manners gentle, of Affections mild;
In Wit, a Man; Simplicity, a Child: With native Humour temp’ring virtuous Rage, Form'd to delight at once and lash the age : Above Temptation, in a low Estate,
5 And uncorrupted, ev'n among the Great: A safe Companion, and an easy Friend, Unblam'd thro' Life, lamented in thy End. These are Thy Honours ! not that here thy Bust Is mix'd with Heroes, or with Kings thy dust; 10 But that the Worthy and the Good shall say, Striking their pensive bosoms---Here lies GAY.
VER. 12. Here lies Gay.] i. e. in the hearts of the good and worthy.—Mr. Pope told me his conceit in this line was not generally understood. For, by peculiar ill luck, the formulary expression, which makes the beauty, misleads the reader into a lense which takes it quite away.
Intended for Sir ISAAC NEWTON,
Hoc marmor fatetur.
Nature and Nature’s Laws lay hid in Night : GOD said, Let Newton be! and all was Light.
NOTES. and all was Light.] It had been better--and there was Ligh, -as more conformable to the reality of the fact, and to the allufion whereby it is celebrated.
On Dr. FRANCIS ATTERBURY,
Bishop of Rochester. Who died in Exile at Paris, 173 2. [His only Daughter having expired in his
arms, immediately after she arrived in France to see him.)
May Heav'n, dear Father! now have all thy Heart.
Dear Shade! I will : Then mix this dust with thine---O spotless Ghost! O more than Fortune, Friends, or Country lost!
Is there on Earth one care, one with beside ?. Yes---SAVE MY COUNTRY, HEAV’N,
---He said, and dy'd.
Save my C untry, Heav'n] Alluding to the Bishop's frequent use and application of the expiring words of the famous Father Paul, in his prayer for the state, ESTO PERPETUA. With how good a grace the Bishop applied it at his trial, and is here made to refer to it in his last moments, they will understand who know what conformity there was in the lives of the Prelate and the Monk. The character of our countryman is well known. And that of the Father may be told in very few words. He was profoundly skilled in all divine and human learning: He employed his whole life in the service of the State, against the unjust incroachments of the Church. He was modest, humble, and forgiving, candid, patient, and just; free from all prejudices of party, and all the projects of ambition; in a word, the happieft compound of Science, Wisdom, and Virtue.