Mary Robinson ( )

Elegy on the Death of Lady Middleton

THE knell of death, that on the twilight gale, 
Swells its deep murmur to the pensive ear; 
In awful sounds repeats a mournful tale, 
And claims the tribute of a tender tear. 

The dreadful hour is past ! the mandate givn! 
The gentle MIDDLETON shall breathe no more, 
Yet who shall blame the wise decrees of Heaven, 
Or the dark mysteries of Fate explore? 

No more her converse shall delight the heart; 
No more her smile benign spread pleasure round; 
No more her liberal bosom shall impart 
The balm of pity to Afflictions wound. 

Her soul above the pride of noble birth, 
Above the praises of an empty name, 
By graceful MEEKNESS markd superior worth, 
By peerless VIRTUES claimd the fairest fame, 

Nor did those Virtues flaunt their innate rays, 
To court applause, or charm the vulgar throng, 
No ostentatious glare illumd her days, 
No idle boast escapd her tuneful tongue. 

When FAME, ambitious to record her praise, 
On glittring pinions spread her name afar, 
Her gentle nature shunnd the dazzling blaze, 
Mild as the lustre of the morning star! 

DIVINE BENEVOLENCE around her shone! 
The chastest manners spoke her spotless mind; 
That Powr who gave now claims her for his own, 
Pure as the cherub she has left behind.

As round her couch the winged darts of death 
Reluctant flew from Fates unerring bow, 
Immortal angels claimd her quivering breath, 
And snatchd her spirit from a world of woe. 

Calm resignation smild upon her cheek, 
And HOPES refulgent beam illumd her eye; 
While FAITH, celestial VIRTUES handmaid meek, 
On wings of seraphs bore her to the sky. 

Ye poor, who from her genrous bounty fed; 
Oh! to HER memry give the fame thats due; 
For oft, from pleasures blithe meanders led, 
Her pensive bosom felt a pang for YOU. 

Yet, cease to mourn a sainted Spirit gone 
To seek its resting place, beyond the skies; 
Where midst the glories of TH ETERNALs throne, 
She tastes celestial bliss THAT NEVER DIES!

Mary Robinson's other poems:
  1. To Cesario
  2. The Poor Singing Dame
  3. Sonnet to Evening
  4. Sonnet to My Beloved Daughter
  5. Sonnet 40. On the Low Margin

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