« PreviousContinue »
ON MRS. CLARKE.
[This Lady, the Wife of Dr. Clarke, Physician at Epsom, died April 27, 1757; and is buried in the Church of Beckenham, Kent.]
Lo! where this silent marble weeps,
She felt the Wound she left behind.
Her infant Image here below,
Sits smiling on a Father's woe:
Along the lonely vale of days?
A Pang, to secret sorrow dear;
With Life, with Memory, and with Love.
ON SIR WILLIAM WILLIAMS*.
[This Epitaph was written at the request of Mr. Frederick Montagu, who intended to have inscribed it on a Monument at Bellisle, at the siege of which this accomplished youth was killed, 1761; but from some difficulty attending the erection of it, this design was not executed.]
HERE, foremost in the dangerous paths of fame,
Young Williams fought for England's fair re
His mind each Muse, each Grace adorn'd his frame, Nor Envy dar'd to view him with a frown.
At Aix, his voluntary sword he drew ,
There first in blood his infant honour seal'd; From fortune, pleasure, science, love he flew,
And scorn'd repose when Britain took the field.
* Sir William Peere Williams, bart. a Captain in Burgoyne's dragoons.
 Sir William Williams, in the Expedition to Aix, was on board the Magnanime with Lord Howe; and was deputed to receive the capitulation.
With eyes of flame, and cool undaunted breast, Victor he stood on Belleisle's rocky steepsAh, gallant youth! this marble tells the rest, Where melancholy Friendship bends and weeps.
A COUNTRY CHURCH-YARD.
[Originally called by Mr. Gray, "Stanzas written in a Country ChurchYard.
The following Analysis of this Poem, which has been often said to be without a Plan, was sketched by the late Mr. Scott, of Amwell:
"The Poet very graphically describes the process of a calm evening, "in which he introduces himself wandering near a Country Church"yard. From the sight of the place, he takes occasion, by a few "natural and simple, but important circumstances, to characterize "the life of a peasant; and observes, that it need not be disdained "by ambition or grandeur, whose most distinguished superiorities "must all terminate in the grave. He then proceeds to intimate, "that it was not from any natural inequality of abilities, but from "want of acquired advantages, as riches, knowledge, &c. that the "humble race, whose place of interment he was surveying, did not "rank with the most celebrated of their cotemporaries. The same "impediments, however, which obstructed their course to greatness, "he thinks also precluded their progress in vice; and, consequently, "that what was lost in one respect was gained in the other. From "this reflection he not unnaturally proceeds to remark on that uni"versality of regard to the deceased, which produces, even for these "humble villagers a commemoration of their past existence. Then "turning his attention to himself, he indulges the idea of his being "commemorated in the same manner, and introduces an Epitaph " which he supposes to be employed on the occasion."
See Scott's Critical Essays, 8vo. 1785.]