The veil of Death around me, and make dumb
The voice of Memory. Ah! “how low she lies!”
No marble monument to speak her praise,
And tell the world that here a DILLON rests.
One, who in beauty’s prime forsook the world,
And, self-bereav’d of all it holds most dear,
Retir’d, to pass the pilgrimage of life,
In solemn prayer and peaceful solitude.
Ah, vain desire! Ambition’s scowling eye
Must see the cloister, as the palace, low,
And meek-ey’d Quiet quit her last abode,
Ere he can pause to look upon the wreck,
And rue the wild impatience of his hand.
Hail! blessed spirit! This rude cypher’d
On which a sister’s pensive eye shall muse
In sorrow, and another relative
In sweet, though mournful, recollection, bend,
Shall call a tear into the stranger’s eye
Whene’er he hears the tale, yet make him proud
That Britain’s hospitable land should yield
All that you could accept, an humble grave.
Written in London, on the 19th of March, 1796.
A lov’d companion, chosen friend,
Does at this hour depart,
Whom the dear name of father binds
Still closer to my heart.
On him may joy-dispensing heav’n
Each calm delight bestow,
And eas’d of peace-destroying care
His life serenely flow!
Did I but know his bosom calm,
And free from anxious fear,
Around me in more cheerful hues
Would every scene appear.
And I will hope that he, who ne’er
Repin’d at heav’n’s decree,
But ever patient and resign’d,
Submissive bent the knee:
Who, best of fathers, never sought
For arbitrary sway,
But free within each youthful mind,
Bade Reason lead the way.
Who taught us, ’stead of servile fear,
A warm esteem to prove,
And bade each act of duty spring,
From gratitude and love.
Yes, I must hope that generous mind
With many cares opprest,
Shall in the winter of his days
With sweet repose be blest.
* * * * *
A friend, a year or two ago, gave me Joseph’s Reconciliation with his Brethren, as a subject to write upon; but I was afraid of not treating it in such a manner as a sacred story deserved, and gave up the attempt, when I had written little more than the following lines, to account for their not knowing him, although he well remembered them; and am persuaded to let them appear here.
* * * * *
* * * * *