Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, TO THE MEMORY OF THE LATE REV. GILBERT WAKEFIELD, by LUCY AIKEN



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TO THE MEMORY OF THE LATE REV. GILBERT WAKEFIELD, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Friend of departed worth! Whose pilgrim feet
Last Line: All but the tender tints you would not wish to fade!
Alternate Author Name(s): Aikin, Lucy
Subject(s): Wakefield, Gilbert (1756-1801)


FRIEND of departed worth! whose pilgrim feet
Trace injured merit to its last retreat,
Oft will thy steps imprint the hallowed shade
Where WAKEFIELD's dust embalmed in tears is laid:
"Here," wilt thou say, "a high undaunted soul,
That spurned at palsied Caution's chill controul,
A mind by Learning stored, by Genius fired,
In Freedom's cause with generous zeal inspired,
Slumbers in dust: the fabric of his fame
Rests on the pillar of a spotless name!"
Tool of corruption! spaniel-slave of power!
Should thy rash steps in some unguarded hour
Profane the shrine, deep on thy shrinking heart
Engrave this awful moral, and depart:...
That not the slanderer's shaft, the bigot's hate,
The dungeon's gloom, or the keen stroke of Fate,
Can rob the good man of that peerless prize
Which not pale Mammon's countless treasure buys;
The conscience clear whence secret pleasures flow,
And friendship kindled 'mid the night of woe,
Assiduous love that stays the parting breath,
And honest fame triumphant over death.
For you, who over the sacred marble bend
To weep the husband, brother, father, friend,
And, mutely eloquent, in anguish raise
Of keen regrets his monument of praise,
May Faith, may Friendship dry your streaming eyes,
And Virtue mingle comfort with your sighs;
Till Resignation, softly stealing on,
With pensive smile bid lingering Grief begone,
And tardy Time veil over with gradual shade
All but the tender tints you would not wish to fade!








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