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Were it a month, a year, or ten,
I would thy exile live till then;
And all that space my mirth adjourn,
So thou would'st promise to return;
And putting off thy ashy shroud
At length disperse this sorrow's cloud.
But woe is me! the longest date
Too narrow is to calculate
These empty hopes: never shall I
Be so much bless'd as to descry
A glimpse of thee, till that day come
Which shall the earth to cinders doom,
And a fierce fever must calcine
The body of this world like thine,
(My little world!) that fit of fire
Once off, our bodies shall aspire
To our soul's bliss: then we shall rise,
And view ourselves with clearer eyes
In that calm region, where no night
Can hide us from each others sight.
Meantime, thou hast her, earth: much good
May my harm do thee! since it stood
With heaven's will I might not call
Her longer mine, I give thee all
My short-liv'd right and interest
In her, whom living I lov'd best:
With a most free and bounteous grief,
I give thee what I could not keep.
Be kind to her, and prithee look
Thou write into thy doomsday book
Each parcel of this rarity
Which in thy casket shrin'd doth lie:
See that thou make thy reck’ning straight,
And yield her back again by weight;
For thou must andit on thy trust
Each grain and atom of this dust,
As thou wilt answer him that lent,
dear monument; So close the ground, and b'vut her shade Black curtains draw, my bride is laid.
Sleep on, mv love, in thy cold bed Never To be disquieted! My last good night! thou wilt not wake Till I thy fate shall overtake: Till age, or grief, or sickess, must Marry my body to that dust It so much loves; and fill the room My heart keeps empty in thy tomb. Stay for me there; I will not fail To meet thee in that hollow vale. And think not much of my delay: I am already on the way, And follow thee with all the speed Desire can make, or sorrows breed. Each minute is a short degree, And ev'ry hour a step towards thee. At night when I betake to rest, Next morn I rise nearer my west Of life, almost by eight hours sail, Than when sleep breath'd his drowsy gale.
Thus from the sun my bottom steers, And my day's compass downward bears: Nor labour I to stem the tide Through which to thee I swiftly glide.
'Tis true, with shame and grief I yield, Thou like the van first took’st the field, And gotten hast the victory In thus adventuring to die
Before me, whose more years might crave
A just precedence in the grave.
But hark! my pulse like a soft drum
Beats my approach, tells thee I come;
And slow howe'er my marches be,
I shall at last sit down by thee.
The thought of this bids me go on,
And wait my dissolution
With hope and comfort, Dear (forgive
The crime) I am content to live
Divided, with but half a heart,
Till we shall meet and never part.
Dr. King's Poems, p. 57.
MY DEAR SON, GERVASE BEAUMONT.
Can I, who have for others oft compild
The songs of Death, forget my sweetest child,
Which like a flow'r crush'd with a blast is dead,
And ere full time hangs down his smiling head,
Expecting with clear hope to live' anew,
Among the angels fed with heav'nly dew?
We have this sign of joy, that many days,
While on the earth his struggling spirit stays,
The name of Jesus in his mouth contains
His only food, his sleep, his ease from pains.
O may that sound be rooted in my mind
Of which in him such strong effect I find.
Dear lord, receive my son, whose winning love
To me was like a friendship, far above
The course of nature, or his tender age,
Whose looks could all my bitter griefs assuage;
Let his pure soul, ordain'd sev'n years to be
In that frail body, which was part of me,
Remain my pledge in heav'n, as sent to show,
How to this port at ev'ry step I go.
Sir John Beaumont's Poems.
FUNERALS OF THE HON. GEO. TALBOT, ESQ.
MY BEST FRIEND AND KINSMAN.
Go, stop the swift wing’d moments in their fight
To their yet unknown coast; go, hinder night
From its approach on day, and force day-rise
From the fair east of some bright beauty's eyes :
Else vaunt not the proud miracle of verse.
for mine from his black hearse
Redeems not Talbot, who, cold as the breath
Of winter, coffin'd lies; silent as death,
Stealing on th’ Anch'rit, who even wants an ear
To breathe into his soft expiring prayer.
For had thy life been by thy virtues spun
Out to a length, thou hadst outliv'd the sun,
And clos'd the world's great eye: or were not all
Our wonders fiction, from thy funeral
Thou hadst received new life, and liv'd to be
The conqueror o'er Death, inspir’d by me.
But all we poets glory in is vain
And empty triumph: Art cannot regain
poor hour lost, nor rescue a small fly
By a fool's finger destinate* to die.
Live then in thy true life (great soul), for set
At liberty by Death thou owest no debt
T exacting Nature: live, freed from the sport
Of time and fortune, in yon starry court
A glorious potentate, while we below
But fashion ways to mitigate our woe.
We follow camps, and to our hopes propose
Th’ insulting victor; not remembʼring those
Dismember'd trunks who
By a loath'd fate: we covetous merchants be,
And to our aims pretend treasure and sway,
Forgetful of the treasons of the sea.
The shootings of a wounded conscience
We patiently sustain to serve our sense
With a short pleasure; so we empire gain,
And rule the fate of business, the sad pain
Of action we contemn, and the affright
Which with pale visions still attends our night.
Our joys false apparitions, but our fears
Are certain prophecies, and till our ears
Reach that celestial music, which thine now
So cheerfully receive, we must allow
destinate to die.] One would suppose it should be