Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, STANZAS ON THE DEATH OF SIR SAMUEL ROMILLY, by BERNARD BARTON



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STANZAS ON THE DEATH OF SIR SAMUEL ROMILLY, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Overwhelming indeed is the anguish we feel
Last Line: Best of patriots and statesmen! We bid thee adieu!
Alternate Author Name(s): Quaker Poet
Subject(s): Romilly, Sir Samuel (1757-1818)


OVERWHELMING indeed is the anguish we feel,
And tearless the sorrow we nurse for thy lot;
It is not a pang that to-morrow may heal,
Nor is it a grief which can soon be forgot.

There are woes which descend like the bolt of Jove's thunder!
That suddenly, crushingly, fall on the heart;
Enwrapping our feelings in terrour and wonder,
And bidding the hopes we most cherish'd depart!

Even such is thy death! It is felt as a blow
By thousands who honour'd and reverenc'd thy NAME;
In whose hearts it awakened that eloquent glow
Of pure patriot love, which no titles can claim.

When the cup of thy bitterness rose to its height,
Though we mourn'd for thy sake, yet we did not despair;
We still cherish'd hopes: they are now quench'd in night;
And bitter the grief thou hast left us to bear.

Yet think not, how gloomy soever may seem
The clouds which envelop'd thy sun's setting ray,
These can totally hide every heart-cheering beam
It had shed on our souls through its glorious day.

No! deep as the darkness may be that enshrouds
Our spirits, and transiently shadow'd thy own;
Thy memory hereafter shall scatter the clouds,
And thy long-cherished worth be remember'd alone.

Oh! well may that memory be sacred and dear;
Well may we that worth in our bosoms enshrine;
For whom hast thou left we can call thy compeer?
Whose talents and virtues shall make up for thine?

Star after star, which attracted our gaze,
We have hail'd with delight, and then bade them adieu!
And Sun after Sun, while we bask'd in its blaze,
Has sunk from our sight, and deserted us too!

The mighty have fallen, and left us to mourn!
The Champions of Freedom are laid in the dust;
And the arms which her standard had fearlessly borne,
Stern Death has compell'd to relinquish their trust.

Oh! never was Liberty's banner unfurl'd,
But thy glance caught its glory, thy heart own'd its worth;
'Twas thy wish it should float o'er the civiliz'd world,
And heav'n's winds waft its fame to the ends of the earth!

And ne'er had that greatest of causes, a friend
More conspicuously good, more consistently great;
Who more earnestly labour'd its weal to defend,
In defiance of despots, and tyranny's hate.

Whether Africa's offspring thy succour might need,
Or thy own injur'd countrymen ask for thy aid;
Or he, to whom conscience dictated a creed
Dissenting from that which his country display'd;

Or whether our code, writ in letters of blood,
Call'd thy eloquence forth: thou must rank amongst those
Who for MAN'S hopes and happiness nobly have stood,
And patiently strove to alleviate his woes.

And oh! if we turn from thy glorious career
In the senate, and fix for a moment our gaze
On thy track in an humbler and happier sphere;
How bright, and how blissful the scene it displays.

As a Friend, and a Father, can aught e'er atone
For the loss of thy friendship?—still more of thy love?
As a HUSBAND!—'tis past! and thy spirit has flown
To the Father of Spirits, who reigneth above.

To HIS merciful judgment we humbly commend thee,
Who remembers our frailty, and pities it too;
Our love, our esteem, and our warm prayers attend thee:
Best of Patriots and Statesmen! we bid thee adieu!





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