1759 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. James Hervey

Anonymous, "Epitaph on the Rev. Mr. James Hervey" Edinburgh Magazine 3 (January 1759) 30-31.



Here HERVEY'S precious dust is laid;
Here peaceful rests his sacred head;
Whose honest fame and works divine,
Shall ever live, shall ever shine;
By all admired shall remain,
Where genius, taste, and virtue reign.

His soul by heav'nly grace inspir'd,
With love to God and goodness fir'd,
Made Nature vocal to proclaim
Religion's excellence supreme:
And though he never dipp'd his pen,
To court the empty praise of men;
Yet oft his smooth harmonious style
Would ev'n the gay to bliss beguile.
Each virtue in his bosom found,
With chaste humility was crown'd.
Acknowledging his sins were great
'Gainst God, in this imperfect state,
He check'd each rising spark of pride,
And on his Saviour still rely'd.

Upon the consecrated morn*
On which our blessed Lord was born,
HERVEY serenely clos'd his eyes,
While angels waft him to the skies.
Now lost in ecstasy and love,
He tunes the harp in heav'n above.

*He died on Christmas-day 1758, at Weston-Favel near Northampton, of which parish he was Rector.