Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, IN MEMORY OF AGOSTINO ISOLA, OF CAMBRIDGE, WHO DIED 1797, by MATILDA BARBARA BETHAM-EDWARDS



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IN MEMORY OF AGOSTINO ISOLA, OF CAMBRIDGE, WHO DIED 1797, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Awake, o gratitude! Nor let the tears
Last Line: "ere we shall look upon thy like again!"
Alternate Author Name(s): Betham, Mary Matilda; Edwards, Matilda B.; Edwards, B. M.
Subject(s): Death; Friendship; Dead, The


AWAKE, O Gratitude! nor let the tears
Of selfish Sorrow smother up thy voice,
When it should speak of a departed friend.
A tender friend, the first I ever lost!
For Destiny till now was merciful,
And though I oft have felt a transient pang,
For worth unknown, and wept awhile for those,
Whom long acquaintance only made me love,
No keen regret laid pining at my heart,
Nor Memory in the solitary hour,
Would sting my soul with grief, as when she speaks
Thy virtue knowledge, wisdom, gentleness,
Thy venerable age, and says that I
Had once the happiness to call thee friend.

Yes! I once bore that title, and my heart
Thought nobler of itself, that one so good,
So honored, so revered, should give it me.
O Isola ! when that glad season comes,
Which brought redemption to a ruined world,
And, like thee, hides beneath the snow of age,
A gay, benevolent, and feeling heart,
I hoped again to hear thy tongue repeat,
With youthful warmth and zealous energy,
Those passages, where Poetry assumes
An air divine, and wakes th' attentive soul
To holy rapture! Then you promised me
The luxury to weep over Dante's muse,
And fair Italia's loftier poets hail.

I have often heard
That years would blunt the feelings of the soul,
And apathy ice the once-glowing heart.
Injurious prejudice! Dear, guileless friend!
Thou read'st mankind, but saw not, or forgot
Their faults and vices; for thy breast was still
The residence of sweet Simplicity,
Daughter of lettered Wisdom, and the friend
Of Love and Pity. Happy soul, farewell!
Long shall we mourn thee! longer will it be,
"Ere we shall look upon thy like again!"







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