1826 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

John Nichols

Luke Booker, "A Tribute to the Memory of John Nichols, Esq. F.S.A." Gentleman's Magazine 96 (December 1826) 542.



When die the Good, Affliction's tear will flow,
To soothe the heart that bleeds with tenderest woe,
And, round whose urn may we that title bind?
Round theirs who reverenc'd God, and bless'd mankind.

Such, honour'd Sage! whose multifarious lore,
Tho' unexampled, still acquiring more,
Render'd thy years, when others' work is done,
Like the mild radiance of a setting Sun.

To bless and serve thy country was the aim
Of all thy views: and now a deathless name
Awaits thee. — Sculptur'd marbles shall decay,
And votive lines of Genius fade away;
Yet shall thy useful labours these supply,—
And while thy country lives, shall never die.

From the profound abyss of hoary Time,
Thou many a buried truth and mouldering rhyme
Didst rescue, — throwing light on ages past,
Whose rays will shine while History's page shall last.

Around the throne thy safeguards didst thou bring,
To shield from fell disloyalty the King;
Around the forms of consecrated law,
Which shield the good, and keep the bad in awe,
Thou, as a faithful Watchman, plac'd on high,
Didst lurking danger to those forms descry;
Around the altar, where thy Christian vow,
In youth was made, and thou in age didst bow,—
The first confirming (on conviction due)
What the long patriarchal last found true,—
There a Palladium, from all feet profane,
Thou more than half a century didst maintain;
Nor did the lengthen'd term of duty close,
When feebler minds would have desired repose;
But in the hallow'd path thou didst proceed,
Till Heaven approving, call'd thee to thy meed.
Then, like a golden shock of ripen'd grain,
Fresh reap'd in autumn, from some specious plain,
Death did thy venerable frame convey,
Softly to slumber in thy parent clay,
Till by thy Saviour's awful fiat given,
Angels transport it to thy home in Heaven.