1794 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

George Colman

F. R. S., "Extempore on the Death of George Colman, Esq." The Oracle, Public Advertiser (28 August 1794).



O Death, thou tyrant of each fleeting hour,
Where is the heart but trembles at thy pow'r;
Thou levell'st MAN down to his native earth—
There low shall lie all we call honour, worth;
Nought can arrest the stroke — thine arm withhold,
Life finishes, as it were — "a tale that's told."
But here, alas! thy presence bring's relief,
And bids th' o'erflowing heart restrain its grief;
Thy stroke has banish'd misery and pain,
And gives the SOUL to know itself again:
Up-borne by GENIUS — by its native force,
See, through ethereal space, it wings its course;
'Till, like the lark, "at Heav'n's gate it sings,"
Whence Seraphs bear it on their silken wings,
To the blest bosom of Consoling Peace,
Where all its errors end — where all its sufferings cease.
Aug. 23, 1794.