1695 ca. ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Charles Gildon

Thomas Bishop, "On Reading Mr. G.'s Apology for Self-Murther" 1695 ca.; Nichols, Select Collection of Poems (1780-82) 4:23-24.



Away, deluding Fiend, thy counsels cease,
Nor lull my fancy to a dream of peace.
Blest Heaven! what images dost thou present?
What poisonous medicines to restore content?
Thou bid'st me shun the weight of misery,
And talk'st how brave a thing it is to die;
That cowards only fear to tempt their fate,
And will compound for life at any rate:
While true heroic valour scorns to live,
Or, woman-like, to sigh, to whine, and grieve;
But, urg'd by manly rage to end its care,
And pass the Stygian Lake devoid of fear.

Know, curst Deceiver, all thy arts I see,
Thy hidden malice, and black treachery.
Though baulk'd of all the joys on earth I prize,
Thou shalt not rob me of eternal bliss.
But dare the most affrighting sense of death,
And should with swiftness act th' advice you gave,
Were there not prospect left beyond the grave:
But 'tis the doom that waits the mutherer,
The dreadful flames reserv'd, create my fear.
The road of death can't my firm soul dismay;
But, when it ends in Hell, I quit the way.

Whene'er my glass its latest sand shall run
(Let my sad woes prevail it mayn't be long!)
Softly may I sigh out my soul in air!
Stand thou, my pitying Guardian Angel, there!
Guide and conduct her through the milky way
To the bright region of eternal day!
There will her sorrows find a sure release,
Unsullied joys begin, and everlasting peace.