Mary Robinson ( )

Elegy to the Memory of David Garrick, Esq.

DEAR SHADE OF HIM, who gracd the mimick scene,
And charmd attention with resistless powr;
Whose wondrous art, whose fascinating mien,
Gave glowing rapture to the short-livd hour! 

Accept the mournful verse, the lingring sigh,
The tear that faithful Memry stays to shed;
The SACRED TEAR, that from Reflections eye,
Drops on the ashes of the sainted dead. 

Lovd by the grave, and courted by the young,
In social comforts eminently blest;
All hearts reverd the precepts of thy tongue,
And Envys self thy eloquence confessd. 

Who could like thee the souls wild tumults paint,
Or wake the torpid ear with lenient art?
Touch the nice sense with pitys dulcet plaint,
Or soothe the sorrows of the breaking heart? 

Who can forget thy penetrating eye, 
The sweet bewitching smile, th empassiond look?
The clear deep whisper, the persuasive sigh,
The feeling tear that Natures language spoke? 

Rich in each treasure bounteous Heaven could lend,
For private worth distinguishd and approvd,
The pride of WISDOM,VIRTUEs darling friend,
By MANSFIELD honordand by CAMDEN lovd! 

The courtiers cringe, the flattrers abject smile,
The subtle arts of well-dissembled praise,
Thy soul abhorrd;above the gloss of guile,
Truth lead thy steps, and Friendship crownd thy days. 

Oft in thy HAMPTONs dark embowring shade
The POETs hand shall sweep the trembling string;
While the proud tribute to thy memry paid,
The voice of GENIUS on the gale shall fling. 

Yes, SHERIDAN! thy soft melodious verse
Still vibrates on a nations polishd ear;
Fondly it hoverd oer the sable hearse,
Hushd the loud plaint, and triumphd in a tear. 

In life united by congenial minds,
Dear to the MUSE, to sacred friendship true;
Around her darlings urn a wreath SHE binds,
A deathless wreathimmortalizd by YOU! 

But say, dear shade, is kindred memry flown?
Has widowd love at length forgot to weep?
That no kind verse, or monumental stone,
Marks the lone spot where thy cold relics sleep! 

Dear to a nation, grateful to thy muse,
That nations tears upon thy grave shall flow,
For who the gentle tribute can refuse,
Which thy fine feeling gave to fancied woe? 

Thou who, by many an anxious toilsome hour,
Reapd the bright harvest of luxuriant Fame,
Who snatchd from dark oblivions barbrous powr
The radiant glories of a SHAKSPEREs name! 

Rembrance oft shall paint the mournful scene
Where the slow funral spread its lengthning gloom,
Where the deep murmur, and dejected mien,
In artless sorrow lingerd round thy tomb. 

And tho no laureld bust, or labourd line,
Shall bid the passing stranger stay to weep;
Thy SHAKSPEREs hand shall point the hallowd shrine,
And Britains genius with thy ashes sleep.

Then rest in peace, O ever sacred shade!
Your kindred souls exulting FAME shall join;
And the same wreath thy hand for SHAKSPERE made,
Gemmd with her tears about THY GRAVE SHALL TWINE.

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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