1736 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

John Gay

Alexander Pope, Gay's Monument in Westminster Abbey; London Evening Post (10 July 1736).



A curious Monument is now finish'd by the famous Mr. Rysback, and in a few Days will be erected in Westminster-Abbey among the Poets, to the Memory of the late Mr. Gay, Author of the Beggar's Opera, &c. on which the following Inscription, viz.

Of Manner's gentle, of Affections mild,
In Wit a man, Simplicity a Child;
With native Humour temp'ring virtuous Rage,
Form'd to delight at once and lash the Age.
Above Temptation in a low Estate,
And uncorrupted, ev'n among the Great.
A safe Companion and an easy Friend,
Unblam'd thro' Life, lamented in thy End.
These are thy Honours! not that here thy Bust
Is mix'd with Heroes, or with Kings thy Dust:
But that the Worthy and the Good shall say,
Striking their pensive Bosoms, — here lies GAY.
A. POPE.

Here lie the Ashes of Mr. JOHN GAY:
The warmest Friend,
The gentlest Companion,
The most benevolent Man;
Who maintain'd
Independency
In low Circumstances of Fortune;
Integrity,
In the Midst of a corrupt Age;
And that equal Serenity of Mind,
Which conscious Goodness alone can give,
Thro' the whole Course of his Life.
Favourite of the Muses,
He was led by them to every elegant Art:
Refin'd in Taste,
And fraught with Graces all his own.
In various Kinds of Poetry
Superior to many,
Inferior to none.
His Works continue to inspire
What his Example taught:
Contempt of Folly, however adorn'd;
Detestation of Vice, however dignify'd;
Reverence for Virtue, however disgrac'd.

Charles and Catherine, Duke and Duchess of Queensberry, who Lov'd his excellent Person living, and Regret him dead, have caus'd this Monument to be erected to his Memory.