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Poem by Charlotte Turner Smith


The Dead Beggar


AN ELEGY.

Addressed to a Lady, who was affected at seeing the
Funeral of a nameless Pauper, buried at the ex-
pense of the Parish, in the Church-Yard at Bright-
helmstone, in November 1792.
SWELLS then thy feeling heart, and streams thine eye
O'er the deserted being, poor and old,
Whom cold, reluctant, parish charity
Consigns to mingle with his kindred mould?
Mourn'st thou, that here the time-worn sufferer ends
Those evil days still threatening woes to come;
Here, where the friendless feel no want of friends,
Where even the houseless wanderer finds a home!

What though no kindred crowd in sable forth,
And sigh, or seem to sigh, around his bier;
Though o'er his coffin with the humid earth
No children drop the unavailing tear?
Rather rejoice that here his sorrows cease,
Whom sickness, age, and poverty oppress'd;
Where death, the leveller, restores to peace
The wretch who living knew not where to rest.
Rejoice, that though an outcast spurn'd by fate,
Through penury's rugged path his race he ran;
In earth's cold bosom, equall'd with the great,
Death vindicates the insulted rights of man.
Rejoice, that though severe his earthly doom,
And rude, and sown with thorns the way he trod,
Now, (where unfeeling fortune cannot come)
He rests upon the mercies of his God. 



                      Charlotte Turner Smith


Charlotte Turner Smith's other poems:
  1. Sonnet 63. The Gossamer
  2. Inscription
  3. Sonnet 3. To a Nightingale
  4. Sonnet 42. Composed During a Walk
  5. Sonnet 7. Sweet Poet of the Woods


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