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Inscription for a Monument to the Memory of Cowper
Reader! if with no vulgar sympathy Thou view'st the wreck of genius and of worth, Stay thou thy footsteps near this hallow'd spot. Here Cowper rests. Although renown have made His name familiar to thine ear, this stone May tell thee that his virtues were above The common portion:—that the voice, now hush'd In death, was once serenely querulous With pity's tones, and in the ear of woe Spake music. Now, forgetful, at thy feet, His tired head presses on its last long rest, Still tenant of the tomb;—and on the cheek, Once warm with animation's lambent flush, Sits the pale image of unmark'd decay. Yet mourn not. He had chosen the better part; And, these sad garments of Mortality Put off, we trust, that to a happier land He went a light and gladsome passenger. Sigh'st thou for honours, reader? Call to mind That glory's voice is impotent to pierce The silence of the tomb! but virtue blooms Even on the wreck of life, and mounts the skies. So gird thy loins with lowliness, and walk With Cowper on the pilgrimage of Christ.
Henry Kirke White's other poems:
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