1763 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Henry Fielding

Christopher Smart, "Epitaph on Henry Fielding" St. James's Magazine 2 (July 1763) 312.



The master of the Greek and Roman page,
The lively scorner of a venal age,
Who made the public laugh at public vice,
Or drew from sparkling eyes the pearl of price,
Student of nature, reader of mankind,
In whom the poet, and the patron join'd,
As free to give applauses, as assert,
And skilful in the practice of desert,
Hence power consign'd the laws to thy command,
And put the scales of justice in thine hand,
To stand protector of the orphan race,
And find the female penitent a place.
From toils like these, too much for eye to bear,
From pain, from sickness, and a world of care;
From children and a widow — in her bloom,
From shores remote, and from a foreign tomb,
Call'd by the WORD of LIFE, thou shalt appear
To please and profit in a higher sphere,
Where endless hope, unperishable gain,
Are what the Scriptures teach and entertain.