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Most souls, 'tis true, but peep out once an age,
From these, perhaps, ere Nature bade her die,
25 And sep’rate from their kindred dregs below, So flew the soul to its congenial place, Nor left one virtue to redeem her race.
But thou, false guardian of a charge too good, Thou, mean deserter of thy brother's blood! 30 See on these ruby lips the trembling breath, These cheeks now fading at the blast of death: Cold is that breast which warm'd the world before, And those love-darting eyes must roll no more. Thus, if eternal Justice rules the ball,
35 Thus shall your wives, and thus your children fall : On all the line a sudden vengeance waits, And frequent hearses shall besiege your gates; There passengers shall stand, and pointing say, (While the long fun'rals blacken all the way,) 40 Lo! these were whose souls the Furies steeld, And curst with hearts unknowing how to yield.
Thus unlamented pass the proud away,
gaze of fools, and pageant of the day! So perish all, whose breast ne'er learn'd to glow 43 For others' good, or melt at others' woe.
What can atone, oh ever injur'd shade! Thy fate unpity'd, and thy rites unpaid ! No friend's complaint, no kind domestic tear, Pleas'd thy pale ghost, or grac'd thy mournful bier. By foreign hands thy dying eyes were clos'd, 51 By foreign hands thy decent limbs compos'd, By foreign hands thy humble grave adorn'd, By strangers honour'd, and by strangers mourn'd! What though no friends in sable weeds appear, 55 Grieve for an hour, perhaps, then mourn a year, And bear about the mockery of woe To midnight dances, and the public show! What though no weeping Loves thy ashes grace, Nor polish'd marble emulate thy face?
60 What though no sacred earth allow thee room, Nor hallow'd dirge be mutter'd o'er thy tomb? Yet shall thy grave with rising flow'rs be dress’d, And the green turf lie lightly on thy breast : There shall the morn her earliest tears bestow, 65 There the first roses of the year shall blow, While angels with their silver wings o'ershade The ground, now sacred by thy relics made.
So peaceful rests, without a stone, a name, What once had beauty, titles, wealth and fame. 70 How lov'd, how honour'd once, avails thee not, To whom related, or by whom begot; A heap of dust alone remains of thee; 'Tis all thou art, and all the proud shall be!
Poets themselves must fall like those they sung, 75 Deaf the prais'd ear, and mute the tuneful tongue. Ev'n he, whose soul now melts in mournful lays, Shall shortly want the gen'rous tear he pays; Then from his closing eyes thy form shall part, And the last pang shall tear thee from his heart; 80 Life's idle bus'ness at one gasp be o'er, The muse forgot, and thou belov'd no more!
MR. ADDISON'S TRAGEDY OF
TO wake the soul by tender strokes of art, To raise the genius, and to mend the heart; To make mankind in conscious virtue bold, Live o'er each scene, and be what they behold; For this the Tragic Muse first troi the stage, 5 Commanding tears to stream through ev'ry age. Tyrants no more their savage nature kept, And foes to virtue wonder'd how they wept. Our author shuns by vulgar springs to move The hero's glory, or the virgin's love:
10 In pitying love we but our weakness show, And wild ambition well deserves its woe. Here tears shall flow from a more gen'rous cause, Such tears as patriots shed for dying laws: He bids your breasts with ancient ardour rise, 15 And calls forth Roman drops from British eyes.
Virtue confess'd in human shape he draws;
Britons! attend: be worth like this approv'd, And show you have the virtue to be mov'd. With honest scorn the first fam'd Cato view'd Rome learning arts from Greece, whom she subdu’d; Your scene precariously subsists too long 41 On French translation and Italian song: