On the Death of the Honourable by Anne Kingsmill Finch

Farewell, lov'd Youth! since 'twas the Will of Heaven
So soon to take, what had so late been giv'n;
And thus our Expectations to destroy,
Raising a Grief, where we had form'd a Joy;
Who once believ'd, it was the Fates Design
In Him to double an Illustrious Line,
And in a second Channel spread that Race
Where ev'ry Virtue shines, with every Grace.
But we mistook, and 'twas not here below
That this engrafted Scion was to grow;
The Seats above requir'd him, that each Sphere
Might soon the Offspring of such Parents share.
Resign him then to the supream Intent,
You, who but Flesh to that blest Spirit lent.
Again disrob'd, let him to Bliss retire,
And only bear from you, amidst that Choir,
What, Precept or Example did inspire,
A Title to Rewards, from that rich store
Of Pious Works, which you have sent before.
Then lay the fading Reliques, which remain,
In the still Vault (excluding farther Pain);
Where Kings and Counsellors their Progress close,
And his renowned Ancestors repose;
Where COVENTRY withdrew All but in Name,
Leaving the World his Benefits and Fame;
Where his Paternal Predecessor lies,
Once large of Thought, and rank'd among the Wise;
Whose Genius in Long-Leat we may behold
(A Pile, as noble as if he'd been told
By WEYMOUTH, it shou'd be in time possest,
And strove to suit the Mansion to the Guest.)
Nor favour'd, nor disgrac'd, there ESSEX sleeps,
Nor SOMERSET his Master's Sorrows weeps,
Who to the shelter of th' unenvy'd Grave
Convey'd the Monarch, whom he cou'd not save;
Though, Roman-like, his own less-valu'd Head
He proffer'd in that injur'd Martyr's stead.
Nor let that matchless Female 'scape my Pen,
Who their Whole Duty taught to weaker Men,
And of each Sex the Two best Gifts enjoy'd,
The Skill to write, the Modesty to hide;
Whilst none shou'd that Performance disbelieve,
Who led the Life, might the Directions give.
With such as These, whence He deriv'd his Blood,
Great on Record, or eminently Good,
Let Him be laid, till Death's long Night shall cease,
And breaking Glory interrupt the Peace.
Mean-while, ye living Parents, ease your Grief
By Tears, allow'd as Nature's due Relief.
For when we offer to the Pow'rs above,
Like You, the dearest Objects of our Love;
When, with that patient Saint in Holy Writ,
We've learnt at once to Grieve, and to Submit;
When contrite Sighs, like hallow'd Incense, rise
Bearing our Anguish to th' appeased Skies;
Then may those Show'rs, which take from Sorrow birth,
And still are tending tow'rd this baleful Earth,
O'er all our deep and parching Cares diffuse,
Like Eden's Springs, or Hermon's soft'ning Dews.

But lend your Succours, ye Almighty Pow'rs,
For as the Wound, the Balsam too is Yours.
In vain are Numbers, or persuasive Speech,
What Poets write, or what the Pastors teach,
Till You, who make, again repair the Breach.
For when to Shades of Death our Joys are fled,
When for a Loss, like This, our Tears are shed,
None can revive the Heart, but who can raise the Dead.
But yet, my Muse, if thou hadst softer Verse
Than e'er bewail'd the melancholy Herse;
If thou hadst Pow'r to dissipate the Gloom
Inherent to the Solitary Tomb;
To rescue thence the Memory and Air
Of what we lately saw so Fresh, so Fair;
Then shou'd this Noble Youth thy Art engage
To shew the Beauties of his blooming Age,
The pleasing Light, that from his Eyes was cast,
Like hasty Beams, too Vigorous to last;
Where the warm Soul, as on the Confines, lay
Ready for Flight, and for Eternal Day.
Gently dispos'd his Nature shou'd be shown,
And all the Mother's Sweetness made his Own.
The Father's Likeness was but faintly seen,
As ripen'd Fruits are figur'd by the Green.
Nor cou'd we hope, had he fulfill'd his Days,
He shou'd have reach'd WEYMOUTH's unequal'd Praise.
Still One distinguish'd plant each Lineage shews,
And all the rest beneath it's Stature grows.
Of Tully's Race but He possess'd the Tongue,
And none like Julius from the Caesars sprung.
Next, in his harmless Sports he shou'd be drawn
Urging his Courser, o'er the flow'ry Lawn;
Sprightly Himself, as the enliven'd Game,
Bold in the Chace, and full of gen'rous Flame;
Yet in the Palace, Tractable and Mild,
Perfect in all the Duties of a Child;
Which fond Reflection pleases, whilst it pains,
Like penetrating Notes of sad Harmonious Strains.
Selected Friendships timely he began,
And siezed in Youth that best Delight of Man,
Leaving a growing Race to mourn his End,
Their earliest and their Ages promis'd Friend.
But far away alas! that Prospect moves,
Lost in the Clouds, like distant Hills and Groves,
Whilst with encreasing Steps we all pursue
What Time alone can bring to nearer View,
That Future State, which Darkness yet involves,
Known but by Death, which ev'ry Doubt resolves.

by Anne Kingsmill Finch

Other poems by 'Anne Kingsmill Finch'

A Pastoral Dialogue Between Two Shepherdesses

A Song

A Tale of the Miser and the Poet

Adam Pos'd

Alcidor

An Apology for my fearfull temper

An EPISTLE From A Gentleman To Madam Deshouliers

An EPISTLE from Alexander to Hephaestion In His Sickness

An Invitation to Dafnis

Ardelia to Melancholy

Search Poems
e.g. love, marriage, kids

Popular poems this week

In Silence We Left

The Lost Dances of Cranes

The Author to her Book

Summer Evening

The Lesson

A chilly Peace infests the Grass

To Mæcenas

You Fit Into Me

mr youse needn't be so spry..

Oh, honey of an hour