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On the Monument of the Honourable ROBERT DIGBY,
and of his Sister Mary, erected by their Father the LORD DIGBY, in the Church of Sherborne in Dorsetshire, 1727.
Go ! fair example of untainted youth, Of modest wisdom, and pacific truth : Compos’d in sufforings, and in joy sedate, Good without noise, without pretension great. Just of thy word, in ev'ry thought sincere, Who knew no Wish but what the world might hear : Of softest manners, unaffected mind, Lover of peace, and friend of human kind : Go live! for Heav'n's Eternal year is thine, Go, and exalt thy Moral to Divine.
And thou, blest Maid! attendant on his doom, Pensive hast follow'd to the silent tomb, Steer'd the same course to the same quiet shore, Not parted long, and now to part no more! Go then, where only bliss sincere is known ! Go, where to love and to enjoy are one!
Yet take these Tears, Mortality's relief,
My father, who was an intimate friend and contemporary at Magdalen College, Oxford, with Mr. Robert Digby, was always saying that this excellent character was not over-drawn, and had every virtue in it here enumerated; and that Mr. Digby had more of the mitis sapientiæ, as Horace finely expresses it, than any man he had ever known. The same said the amiable Mr. Holdsworth, author of Muscipula. They were all three pupils of Dr. Sacheverell, who at that time was the friend of Addison, and was in great vogue as an able tutor before he entered so violently into those absurd politics that so much disgraced
ON SIR GODFREY KNELLER,
IN WESTMINSTER-ABBEY, 1723.
KNELLER, by Heav'n and not a Master taught, Whose Art was Nature, and whose Pictures
Thought; Now for two Ages having snatch'd from fate Whate'er was beauteous, or whate’er was great, Lies crown'd with Princes' honours, Poets' lays, 5 Due to his Merit, and brave Thirst of praise.
Living, great Nature fear’d he might outvie Her works; and, dying, fears herself may die.
“ Raphael, timuit, quo sospite, vinci
NOTES. Ver. 7. Living, great Nature] Much better translated by Mr. W. Harrison, of New College, a favourite of Swift, communicated to me by Dr. Lowth:
“Here Raphael lies, by whose untimely end
Nature both lost a rival and a friend." Notwithstanding the partiality of Pope, this artist little deserved to be consulted by our poet, as he was, concerning the arrangements of the subjects represented on the shield of Achilles. These required a genius of a higher order. Mr. Flaxman, lately arrived from Italy, by a diligent study of the antique, and the force of his genius, has given designs from Homer far beyond any that have yet appeared.
HERE, WITHERS, rest ! thou bravest, gentlest mind, Thy Country's friend, but more of human kind. Oh born to Arms! 0 Worth in Youth approv'd ! O soft Humanity, in Age belov'd ! For thee the hardy Vetran drops a tear, And the gay Courtier feels the sigh sincere.
WITHERS, adieu ! yet not with thee remove
ON MR. ELIJAH FENTON,
AT EASTHAMSTED IN BERKS, 1730,
This modest Stone, what few vain marbles can, May truly say, Here lies an honest Man : A Poet, blest beyond the Poet's fate, Whom Heav'n kept sacred from the Proud and Great. Foe to loud praise, and Friend to learned Ease, Content with Science in the Vale of Peace. Calmly he look'd on either Life, and here Saw nothing to regret, or there to fear; From Nature's temp’rate feast rose satisfied, Thank'd Heav'n that he had liv’d, and that he died.
His integrity, his learning, and his genius, deserved this character; it is not in any respect over-wrought. His poems are not sufficiently read and admired. The Epistle to Southerne, the Ode to the Sun, the Fair Nun, and, above all, the Ode to Lord Gower, are excellent. Akenside frequently said to me, that he thought this Ode the best in our language, next to Alexander's Feast. “I envy Fenton," said Pope to Mr. Walter Harte, “his Horatian Epistle to Lambard.” Parts of Mariamne are beautiful, and it ought to take its turn on the stage. Just before he died, Fenton was introduced into Mr. Craggs' family by Pope's recommendation.
Not only the second line, but almost the whole of this epitaph, is borrowed from Crashaw, an imitator of Marino, and a writer of whom Pope, and indeed Cowley, were fond.