Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE FUNERAL: EPILOGUE, by RICHARD STEELE



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THE FUNERAL: EPILOGUE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Love, hope and fear, desire, aversion, rage
Last Line: And they reward our labours with a smile.


LOVE, hope and fear, desire, aversion, rage,
All that can move the soul, or can assuage,
Are drawn in miniature of life, the stage.
Here you can view yourselves, and here is shown
To what you're born in sufferings not your own.
The stage to wisdom's no fantastic way,
Athens herself learned virtue at a play.
Our author me to-night a soldier drew,
But faintly writ, what warmly you pursue
To his great purpose, had he equal fire,
He'd not aim to please only, but inspire;
He'd sing what hovering fate attends our isle,
And from base pleasure rouse to glorious toil
Full time the earth to a new decision brings;
While William gives the Roman eagle wings:
With arts and arms shall Britain tamely end,
Which naked Picts so bravely could defend?
The painted heroes on th' invaders press,
And think their wounds addition to their dress;
In younger years we've been with conquest blest,
And Paris has the British yoke confessed;
Is't then in England, in lost England, known,
Her kings are named from a revolted throne?
But we offend—You no examples need,
In imitation of yourselves proceed;
'Tis you your country's honour must secure,
By all your actions worthy of Namur:
With gentle fires your gallantry improve,
Courage is brutal, if untouched with love:
If soon our utmost bravery's not displayed,
Think that bright circle must be captives made;
Let thoughts of saving them our toils beguile,
And they reward our labours with a smile.





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