1749 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Isaac Watts

Moses Browne, "To the Memory of the Rev. Dr. Watts" Gentleman's Magazine 19 (January 1749) 39.



Thy funeral honours weeping friends have paid,
Peace to thy hallow'd dust! paternal shade;
Our thoughts those mournful images employ,
O! lately ours, whom angels now enjoy.
Still flows the tear, which wisdom bids us blame,
Self-love its weakness hides with sorrow's name;
For thee, so blest in life, in death so blest,
Shou'd every tear be dry'd, and plaint supprest;
Faith shou'd her triumph o'er weak sense display,
Death was, dear saint! thy coronation day.
Shall saints above their acclamations show?
And sadness damp the pomp from saints below?
Souls of one temper, one fraternal race,
One in communion, tho' disjoin'd by space?
Yet these, so happy now, their toils, their fears
Once knew, bewilder'd in this vale of tears;
Known too by thee, how late, while here below,
O gentle shade! just freed from mortal woe,
How vast thy transient change! I see thee now!
Light robes thy form, and glory wreathes thy brow,
And hark! I hear thee! O thy tuneful tongue!
Round the Lamb's blissful throne thou breath'st his song.
Rest in thy bliss, — be ours, thy life's essay,
Thy bright example leading all the way.
—Thy labour'd volumes noblest fame shall give,
And thro' each age for its instruction live;
In every character thy merits shine,
Admir'd in each; saint, poet, sage, divine:
To thee heaven's largest trust of talents fell,
So humbly all possess'd, and us'd so well.

Adieu! — till thy short sleep be past — adieu!
Hope keeps, assur'd, thy waking hour in view;
Our eyes, which sorrowing o'er thy lifeless dust,
Saw the base earth receive its precious trust,
Again shall view (from that dishonouring bed)
View thee, in vernal glories lift thy head;
Mark thy bright way, and see thee radiant rise,
Fair as a sun, to gild eternal skies.