1814 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Samuel Jackson Pratt

Ambrose, "Tributary Lines" The Monthly Magazine 38 (November 1814) 387.



Past were the pangs that rent thy stricken frame,
And health resum'd her abdicated throne;
The cheek of pallid hue — the heart of flame—
The livid lip, and fever-fiend, were flown.

Hope wav'd her golden wings around,
But stern Affliction mark'd thy fleeting breath,
And with his finger, stooping to the ground,
Wrote on thy dust the characters of death.

Thy relics slumber in the mould'ring fane;
Yet shall not grief unhallow'd incense raise:
The loud lament that mourns the dead is vain—
Vain is the song that boasts a mortal's praise.

But who, with rugged breast, can bear unmov'd
The loss of all the joys that friendship gave?
Can yield a dear companion, friend belov'd,
Unwept, unpitied, to the silent grave?

There are, who keenly felt thy sad decay—
Enjoy'd thy converse — listen'd to thy strains—
Shed tears of sorrow on thy dying day,
And sigh'd with anguish o'er thy cold remains.

There are, who in reflection's secret hour,
With pensive joy thy mem'ry will prolong;
And, pond'ring on the past, recal thy pow'r
In many a moral lay and sacred song.

Nor yet unmindful, 'mid the sorrowing band,
His pray'r shall rise, while bending o'er thy bier,
Who frames, with vacant heart and listless hand,
This rude memorial of regret sincere.

Not that thy virtues unimpair'd may live,
Wafted on wings of sublunary fame;
But that thy Maker may thy faults forgive,
And in the Book of Life inscribe thy name.

Mysterious Pow'r, whom myriad worlds adore!
In dark obscurity thy judgments fly;
E'en Pain, at thy command, may peace restore,
And Mercy hurl the death-bolt from on high.

Destroying Angels, of celestial birth,
May hear with joy the dread commission giv'n;
And, e're they snatch a "Gleaner" from the earth,
Prepare a harvest of delight in Heav'n.