Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, VERSES, SUGGESTED BY THE FUNERAL OF AN EPITAPH IN BURY CHURCH-YARD, by BERNARD BARTON



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VERSES, SUGGESTED BY THE FUNERAL OF AN EPITAPH IN BURY CHURCH-YARD, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: When siloam's tower in fragments strew'd the ground
Last Line: The boon of immortality was given!
Alternate Author Name(s): Quaker Poet
Subject(s): Death - Children; Funerals; Death - Babies; Burials


WHEN Siloam's tower in fragments strew'd the ground,
And by its fall spread awe and terrour round;
Think ye that they on whom the ruin fell,
Were worse than those who liv'd their fate to tell?
I say unto ye, nay! That righteous Gon,
Who rules the nations with his awful nod,
Without whose knowledge not a sparrow dies,
Looks not on such events with human eyes;
The bolt he hurls, by boundless mercy sped,
Oft strikes the saint's, but spares the sinner's head;
And while frail mortals scan effect and cause,
His love pursues its own unerring laws;
Gives the glad saint his final recompense,
The sinner spares, perchance for penitence.
What though the storm might rise, the clouds might lower,
And muttering thunders mark the vesper hour;
What though the little suppliant might be taught
A form of faith, with numerous errours fraught;
Yet HE, whose eye is on the heart alone.
The guileless homage of this child might own:
And, 'mid the terrours of a stormy even,
Call, with approving smile, her soul to heaven!

While simple Mary, innocently bold,
With virtuous diligence her vespers told;
Who knows how many, votaries of her creed
Which teaches purer faith in word and deed,
With hands uplifted, but with hearts unmov'd,
Proffer'd their supplications unapprov'd?
Nay, they might even, when the storm was o'er,
Shortsightedly this damsel's fate deplore;
And blindly deprecate her dreadful doom,
Thus early crown'd with glorious martyrdom.
Not so, sweet girl, would I, a nameless bard,
Thy happy, holy destiny regard;
To me thou seem'st like one, who, early fit
For heaven, and heaven alone, wert call'd to it;
By piety and purity prepar'd,
And by thy sacred destiny declar'd
In GOD's all-seeing and unerring eyes,
A spotless Lamb, most meet for sacrifice;
And, like Elijah's lot in olden time,
I own thy end was sudden, but sublime;
The car of glory, and the steeds of fire,
Bore from Elisha's view his sainted sire:
And unto thee, by hallow'd fire from heaven,
The boon of immortality was given!





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