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Written at the Request of a Gentleman to whom a
Lady had given a Sprig of Myrtle*.
What hopes, what terrors, does thy gift create ?
* These verses were first printed in the Gentleman's Magazine for 1768, p. 439, but were written many years earlier. Elegant as they are, Dr. Johnson assured me, they were composed in the short space of five minutes.
TO LADY FIREBRACE*,
AT BURY ASSIZES.
At length must Suffolk beauties shine in vain,
TO LYCE, AN ELDERLY LADY,
By flatt'ring poets given,
In all the pomp of Heaven;
Engross not all the beams on high,
Which gild a lover's lays,
Let Lyce share the praise.
Her silver locks display the moon,
Her brows a cloudy show,
And show'rs from either flow.
* This lady was Bridget, third daughter of Philip Bacon, Esq. of Ipswich, and relict of Philip Evers, Esq. of that town. She became the second wife of Şir Cordell Firehrace, the last Baronet of that name (to whom she brought a fortune of 25,000l.), July 26, 1737.' Being again left a widow in 1759, she was a third time married, April 7,1762, to William Campbell, Esq. uncle to the present Duke of Argyle, and died July 3, 1782,
Her teeth the night with darkness dyes,
She's starr'd with pimples o'er ;
And can with thunder roar.
But some Zelinda, while I sing,
Denies my Lyce shines;
Attack my gentle lines.
Yet, spite of fair Zelinda's eye,
And all her bards express,
And I but fatter less.
ON THE DEATH OF
MR. ROBERT LEVET,
A Practiser in Physic.
CON ĐEM N'D to Hope's delusive mine,
As on we toil from day to day,
Our social comforts drop away.
Well try'd through many a varying year,
See Levet to the grave descend,
Of ev'ry friendless name the friend.
Yet still he fills Affection's eye,
Obscurely wise, and coarsely kind;
anni prédanton enntest. Hor. lib. 2. Ep. 2.55
When fainting nature call'd for aid,
And hov'ring death prepar'd the blor, His vig’rous remedy display'd
The pow'r of art without the show.
In misery's darkest cavern known,
His useful care was ever nigh,
And lonely want retir'd to die.
No summons mock'd by chill delay,
No petty gain disdain'd by pride, The modest wants of ev'ry day
The toil of ev'ry day supply'd.
His virtues walk'd their narrow round,
Nor made a pause, nor left a yoid; And sure th' Eternal Master found
The single talent well employ'd.
The busy day-the peaceful night,
Unfelt, uncounted, glided by ; His frame was firin-his powers were bright,
Though now his eightieth year was nigh.
Then, with no fiery throbbing pain,
No cold gradations of decay, Death broke at once the vital chain,
And freed his soul the nearest way.
EPITAPH ON CLAUDE PHILLIPS,
AN ITINERANT MUSICIAN*.
PHILLIPS! whose touch harmonious could remove
THOMAM HANMER, BARONETTUM.
Honorabilis admodum THOMAS HANMER,
Baronettus, Wilhelmi Hanmer armigeri, è Peregrina Henrici
North De Mildenħall in Com, Suffolciæ Baronetti sorore
* These lines are among Mrs. Williams's Miscellanies: they are nevertheless recognised as Johnson's in a memorandum of his hand-writing, and were probably written at her request, Phillips was a travelling fidler up and down Wales, and was greatly celebrated for his performance,
+ At Hanmer church, in Flintshire.