1791 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Francis Hopkinson

E., "To the Memory of Francis Hopkinson" Universal Asylum and Columbian Magazine [Philadelphia] 6 (May 1791) 337.



Wit! Science! Industry! your powers how vain!
Since here the reliques of the man remain,
(Ah! stopt too early in his honoured course!)
Who gave to humour truth, to reason force.
In him the Patriot's virtues fully shone;
He made, Humanity! thy cause his own;
Versed in true learning, and adorned with taste,
Alike the closet and the bench he graced,
Made many a heart with valour's fire, to glow,
And bade the stream of justice mildly flow.

Whilst the long train the solemn bier attends,
Pleased, we behold that virtue still has friends,
And trust, that all this useful truth shall hoard,
The men who live respected, die deplored.

Scarce to one sage our tribute has been paid,
Ere to the grave another is conveyed.
One full of years expired; revered, beloved;
The other, ah! too early is removed.
Yet in our bosoms his deserts shall bloom,
And wit and wisdom visit oft his tomb.

Erect the bust to learning and to worth;
And, genius, call thy various talents forth
The man to praise who venerated thee;
Prized by the good, and honoured by the free.
Erect the bust! — but what will that avail?
Envy and folly shall in vain assail
That name, those talents, which superior rise,
And, having earth adorned, now grace the skies.

Yet let the bust be raised — and sculpture's art
Due tribute, science, to thy son impart.
Youth on the trophy shall with rapture gaze,
Soaring to virtue on the wings of praise.
Painting! exert thy imitative powers;
Display the sage reclined in learning's bowers:
Thou mournful muse! (since hushed is humour's vein)
Pour thy sad plaint in elegiac strain.
And be this truth upon his marble write—
He shone in virtue, taste, and wit.