1781
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

An Elegy on the Death of Serj. Dunstan, of his Majesty's Yorkshire North-Riding Volunteer Regiment of of Foot.

Poems on Various Occasions, chiefly Pastoral, by J. Richardson, a Yorkshire Volunteer.

John Richardson


A pastoral elegy in five anapestic quatrains for a colleague who died in the bloom of youth: "His actions and words would agree, | In his bosom no rancour was known; | His passions were gen'rous and free, | He was stil'd SENSIBILITY'S own." The complete title is An Elegy on the Death of Serj. Dunstan, of his Majesty's Yorkshire North-Riding Volunteer Regiment of of Foot, Commanded by Colonel Earl Fauconbridge, who died at St. Albans, Feb. 5, 1781, aged 23 Years." John Richardson had retired from the Yorkshire Volunteers and was employed as a schoolmaster when his volume was published.



My Comrades, in sorrow let's join,
The volunteer DUNSTAN is dead,
MELPOMENE, first of the Nine
For Elegy, — lend me thine aid.

His worth calls aloud for our lays,
The virtues in him were combin'd,
Concordance, how meet is his praise,
His equal how rarely we find.

His actions and words would agree,
In his bosom no rancour was known;
His passions were gen'rous and free,
He was stil'd SENSIBILITY'S own.

Ye virgins bring laurel and straw,
Round the tomb where our Comrade is laid
In wreaths it was fit for his brow,
But he's left us and Peace to his Shade.

Yes peace, gentle youth, to thy manes,
That were theme for a Laureat's best lay;
Though grief may incumber the strains,
The said tribute we gratefully pay.

[pp. 84-85]