1826 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Bp. Reginald Heber

Felicia Hemans, "To the Memory of Heber" The Literary Gazette (23 September 1826) 605-06.



If it be said to speak of treasures gone,
Of sainted Genius, call'd too soon away,
Of Light, from this world taken while it shone
Yet kindling onward to the perfect day—
How shall our grief, if mournful these things be,
Flow forth, O Guide and gifted Friend! for thee?

Hath not thy voice been here amongst us heard?
And that deep soul of gentleness and power,
Have we not felt its breath in every word
Wont from thy lip, as Hermon's dew, to shower?
Yes! in our hearts thy fervent thoughts have burn'd,—
Of heaven they were, and thither have return'd.

How shall we mourn thee? — With a lofty trust,
Our life's immortal birthright from above!
With a glad faith, whose eye, to track the just,
Through shades and mysteries lifts a glance of love,
And yet can weep! — for Nature so deplores
The friend that leaves us, though for happier shores.

And one high tone of triumph o'er thy bier,
One strain of solemn rapture be allow'd!
Thou that rejoicing on thy mid-career,
Not to decay, but unto Death hast bow'd!
In those bright regions of the rising sun,
Where Victory ne'er a crown like thine hath won.

Praise! for yet one more name, with power endow'd,
To cheer and guide us, onward as we press;
Yet one more image, on the heart bestow'd,
To dwell there — beautiful in holiness!
Thine, Heber, thine! whose memory from the dead
Shines as the star which to the Saviour led!
St. Asaph, Sept. 1826.