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And be thiş maxim graven in thy mind,
But when old age has silver'd o'er thy head,
ON THE DEATH OF MR. ADDISON.
TO THE EARL OF WARWICK.
If, dumb too long, the drooping Muse hath staid,
Can I forget the dismal night, that gave My soul's best part for ever to the grave ! How silent did his old companions tread, By midnight lamps, the mansions of the dead, Through breathing statues, then unheeded things, Through rows of warriors, and through walks of kings! What awe did the slow solemn knell inspire, The pealing organ, and the pausing choir ; The duties by the lawn-robed prelate paid; And the last words, that dust to dust convey'd ! While speechless o'er thy closing grave we bend, Accept these tears, thou dear departed friend, Oh gone
for ever, take this long adieu; And sleep in peace, next thy lov'd Montagu !
To strew fresh laurels, let the task be mine,
Oft let me range the gloomy aisles alone, (Sad luxury! to vulgar minds unknown) Along the walls where speaking marbles shew What worthies form the hallow'd mould below: Proud names, who once the reins of empire held; In arms who triumph'd; or in arts exceld; Chiefs, graced with scars, and prodigal of blood; Stern patriots, who for sacred freedom stood; Just men, by whom impartial laws were given; And saints, who taught, and led the way to heaven. Ne'er to these chambers, where the mighty rest, Since their foundation, came a nobler guest; Nor e'er was to the bowers of bliss convey'd A fairer spirit, or more welcome shade.
In what new region, to the just assign'd, What new employments please th' unbodied mind? A winged virtue, through th' ethereal sky, From world to world unwearied does he fly, Or curious trace the long laborious maze Of heaven's decrees, where wond'ring angels gaze? Does he delight to hear bold seraphs tell, How Michael battled, and the Dragon fell? Or, mix'd with milder cherubim, to glow In hymns of love, not ill essay'd below?
Or dost thou warn poor mortals left behind,
Thou bill, whose brow the antique structures grace, Reard by bold chiefs of Warwick's noble race, Why, once so lov’d, whene'er thy bower appears, O'er my dim eye-balls glance the sudden tears! How sweet were once thy prospects fresh and fair, Thy sloping walks, and unpolluted air ! How sweet the glooms beneath thy aged trees, Thy noon-tide shadow, and the evening breeze! His image thy forsaken bowers restore; Thy walks and airy prospects charm no more; No more the summer in thy glooms allay'd, Thy evening breezes, and thy noon-day shade.
From other ills, however Fortune frown'd,
The verse, begun to one lost friend, prolong,
These words divine, which, on his death-bed laid, To thee, O Craggs, th' expiring sage convey'd,