1796 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. James Fordyce

H. M. [Hannah More?], "On the late Rev. James Fordyce, D.D." Gentleman's Magazine 66 (November 1796) 948.



Sweet are the parting slumbers which attend
The placid moments of the good man's end;
Sweet is the hope that bids the Christian rise
In blest ecstatic visions to the skies;
Happy these thoughts to soothe the troubled breast,
And lull our sorrows and our cares to rest.
Forbear, O Mourners! now no more with grief
Profane the hour which gives his soul relief!
As full of honours as of age, he goes
To the still harbour of secure repose.
What were the tenets of thy faith pursued,
Since thou didst aim to teach a practice good,
I search not, Fordyce! Virtue was thy Creed:
And the bright crown of Virtue be thy meed.
They will with grateful heart have learn'd to glow,
By thee preserv'd from poverty and woe;
They who amidst the tempting wiles of youth,
Inform'd by thee, have trod the paths of truth;
All, one and all, to Heav'n their voices send
In praise of thee, their Father and their Friend!
Science, who fill'd thee with her gen'rous lore,
Shall bid thy name to endless ages soar;
Virtue, whose deathless image liv'd enshrin'd
With the sacred temple of thy mind;
And Charity, soft-smiling through her tears;
And meek Religion, tenant of the spheres;
Thy deeds thy pious deeds, shall well approve
And wait thy spirit to the realms of love!
And, as on earth below thou didst proclaim
The high, supreme, eternal, Godhead's name,
His name in Heav'n's blest mansions shalt thou hymn;
Where the bright armies of the Seraphim,
Circling the throne, with never-ceasing lays
Harp high their notes of inexpressive praise;
There shalt thou live, with joy celestial crown'd,
Where glory, peace, and happiness, abound!
Bath.