1796 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. William Benwell

William Lisle Bowles, "Lines on the Death of the Reverend William Benwell" 1796; Gentleman's Magazine 97 (July 1797) 547.



Thou camest with kind looks, when on the brink
Almost of death I strove; and, with mild voice
Soothing, didst bid my poor heart rejoice,
Though smitten sore: oh! I did little think
That thou, my friend, wouldst the first victim fall
To the stern King of Terrors! Thou didst fly,
By pity prompted, at the poor man's cry;
And soon thyself were stretched beneath the pall,
Livid infection's prey. The deep distress
Of her, who best thy inmost bosom knew,
To whom thy faith was vowed, thy soul was true,
What powers of fault'ring language shall express?
As Friendship bids, I feebly paint my own,
And sorrowing say, "Poor fellow! thou art gone."