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We hall conclude this fpecies of poetry with a droll and satirical Epitaph written by Mr. Pope, which we tranfcribed from a monument in Lord Cobham's gardens at Stow in Buckinghambire.

To the Memory

of
SIGNIOR FIDO,
An Italian of good Extraction ;

Who came into England,
Not to bite us, like most of his Countrymen,

But to gain an honest Livelyhood.
He hunted not after Fame,

Yet acquir'd it;
Regardless of the Praise of his Friends,

but moft sensible of their Love.

Tho' he liv'd amongst the Great,
He neither learnt

nor flatter'd

He was no Bigot,
Tho' he doubted of none of the 39 Articles.

And, if to follow Nature,
and to respect the Laws of Society,

be Philosophy,
he was a perfect Philosopher ;

a faithful Friend,
an agreeable Companion,

a loving Husband,
diftinguish d by a numerous Offspring,
all which he liv'd to see take good Courses.

In his old Age he retired
to the House of a Clergyman in the Country,

where he finished his earthly Race, and died an Honour and an Example to the whole Species.

Reader,
This Stone is guiltless of Flattery,
for he to whom it is inscrib'd

was not a MAN,

any Vice.

but a

Grer-HOUND.

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HE Elegy is a mournful and plaintive, but yet a sweet

and engaging kind of poem. It was firit invented to bewail the death of a friend, and afterwards us'd to express the complaints of lovers, or any other doleful and melancholy subject. In process of time not only matters of grief, but joy, wilhes, prayers, expoftulations, reproaches, admonitions, and almost every other subject, were admitted into Elegy; however, funeral lamentations and affairs of love seem most agreeable to its character.

The plan of an Elegy, as indeed of all other poems, ought to be made before a line is written; or else the author will ramble in the dark, and his verses have no dependance on each other. No epigrammatic points or conceits, none of those fine things wbich most people are so fond of in every fort of poem, can be allow'd in this, but must give place to nobler beauties, those of Nature and the Passions. Elegy rejects whatever is facetious, satirica', or majestic, and is content to be plain, decent, and unaffected ; yet in this humble state is the sweet and engaging, elegant and attractive, This poem is adorn'd with frequent commiserations, complaints, exclamations, addresses to things or persons, short and proper digressions, allufions, comparisons, prosopopeias or feigned perfons, and sometimes with short descriptions, The diction ought to be free from any baroness; neat, easy, perspicuous, expreffive of the manners, tender, and pathetic ; and the numbers should be smooth and flowing, and captivate the ear with their uniform sweetness and delicacy.

For an example of a good and mournful Elegy, I shall insert one written by Mr. Pope, which will give the reader a juft idea of the tender and plaintive character of this kind

of poem.

To the memory of an unfortunate Lady. What beck’ning ghoft along the moonlight shade Invites my step, and points to yonder glade ?

'Tis the ! —but why that bleeding bosom gor'd ?
Why dimly gleams the visionary sword ?
Oh ever beauteous, ever friendly! tell,
Is it, in heav'n, a crime to love too well ?
To bear too tender, or too firm a heart,
To act a lover's, or a Roman's part ?
Is there no bright reversion in the sky,
For those who greatly think, or bravely dic ?

Why bade ye else, ye Pow'rs! her soul aspire
Above the vulgar flight of low desire ?
Ambition first sprang from your bleft abodes,
The glorious fault of Angels and of Gods :
Thence to their images on earth it flows,
And in the breasts of kings and heroes glows !
Most souls, 'tis true, but peep out once an age,
Dull, fullen pris'ners in the body's cage :
Dim lights of life, that burn a length of years,
Uselefs, unseen, as lamps in fepulchres ;
Like eastern kings a lazy state they keep,
And close confin'd in their own palace Neep.

From these perhaps (ere nature bade her die)
Fate snatch'd her early to the pitying ky.
As into air the purer spirits flow,
And sepirate 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 !
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,
Thus shall your wives, and thus your children fall:
On all the line a sudden vengeance waits,.
And frequent herses shall besiege your gates.
There passengers shall stand, and pointing say,
(While the long fun'rals blacken all the way)
Lo these were they whose souls the furies steeld,
And curs'd with hearts unknowing how to yield.
Thus unlamented pass the proud away,
The gaze of fools, and pageants of a day !

So perilh all, whose breast ne'er learnt to glow
For others good, or melt at others woe.

What can atone (oh ever-injurd shade !)
Thy fate unpicy'd, and thy rites unpaid ?
No friends complaint, no kind domestic tear
Pleas'd thy pale ghoft, or grac'd thy mournful bier ;
By foreign hands thy dying eyes were clos'd,
By foreign hands thy decent limbs compos'd.
By foreign hands thy humble grave adornd,
By strangers honourd, and by strangers mourn'd!
What tho' no friends in fable weeds appear,
Grieve for an hour, perhaps, then mourn a year,
And bear about the mockery of woe
To midnight dances, and the public show ;
What tbo? no sacred earth allow thee room,
Nor hallow'd dirge be mutter'd o'er thy tomb;
Yet Mall thy grave with rising flow'rs be dreft,
And the green turf lie lightly on thy breast :
'There shall the morn her earliest tears bestow,
There the first roses of the year Mall blow;
While Angels with their silver wings o'ersade
The ground, now sacred by thy reliques made.

So peaceful rests, without a stone, a name,
What once had beauty, titles, wealth, and fame :
How lov’d, how honcur’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,
Deaf the prais'd ear, and mute the tuneful tongue.
Ev’n he, whose soul now melts in mournful lays,
Shall Tortly want the generous tear he pays :
Then from his clofing eyes thy form shall part,
And the last pang mall tear thee from his heart :
Life's idle business at one gasp be o'er,
The mase forgot, and thou belov'd no more !

But of Elegies on the subject of death, this by Mr. Gray is one of the best that has appeared in our language, and may be justly esteem'd a masterpiece.

An ELEGY. Written in a country church-yard. The curfeu tolls the knell of parting day,

The lowing herd winds slowly o'er the lea. The plowman homeward plods his weary way,

And leaves the world to darkness, and to me.
Now fades the glimmering landscape on the fight,

And all the air a solemn stillness holds ;
Save where the beetle wheels his droning flight,

Or drowsy tincklings Jull the distant folds.
Save that from yonder ivy-mantled tow'r

The moping owl does to the moon complain
Of such as, wand'ring near her secret bow'r,

Moleft her ancient solitary reign.
Beneath those rugged elms, that yew-tree's fhade,

Where heaves the turf in many a mould'ring heap, Each in his narrow cell for ever laid,

The rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep. The breezy call of incense breathing morn,

The swallow twitt'ring from the straw-built shed, The cock's shrill clarion, or the echoing horn,

No more shall rouse them from their lowly bed. For them no more the blazing hearth shall burn,

Or busy housewife ply her evening care : No children run to lisp their sire's return,

Or climb his knees the envy'd kiss to share. Oft did the harvest to their sickle yield,

Their furrow oft the stubborn glebe has broke; How jocund did they drive their team a field !

How bow'd the woods beneath their sturdy stroke! Let not ambition mock their useful toil,

Their homely joys, and deftiny obscure ; Nor grandeur hear with a disdainful smile,

The short and simple annals of the poor.
The boast of heraldry, the pomp of pow'r,

And all that beauty, all that wealth e'er gave,
Awaits alike th’inevitable hour,
The paths of glory lead but to the grave.

E

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