1764 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Charles Churchill

Jane Timbury, "On the Death of the late Mr. Charles Churchill: written at the Age of Fifteen" 1764; The History of Tobit (1788) 31-32.



'Tis past! Death's sudden unrelenting hand
Hath torn a CHURCHILL from the British land!
Just in the prime of life, and height of fame,
The fatal shaft, too well directed came.
In vain the Muses may their loss deplore;
Their favour'd Satyrist is now no more!
So well he lash'd the follies of his time,
And pictur'd vice in such well-pointed rhime;
Each might a mirrour find in ev'ry page,
And justly style him Censor of the age:
But truth must own, however great his name,
'Tis easier far to censure, than reclaim.
Precept alone, without example join'd,
Will have small influence on the human mind.
Should then some future Bard supply his place,
And censure vice with almost equal grace;
On Truth's firm basis may he build his claim,
Inspir'd by Virtue more than empty Fame,
With that sincere benevolence of mind,
That seeks th' amendment of all human kind!
For vainly those presume to write, or preach,
Whose life confirms not what their doctrines teach.