Ode on the Death of the Author [Thomas Warton the Elder] by Jane Warton

Accept, O sacred Shade, this artless Verse,
And kindly, O ye mourning Friends, forbear,
To dear disdaining from his decent Herse,
All I can give except the tender Tear:
He must not lie in his cold Grave, among
Poor shrieking Ghosts, unprais’d, unwept, unsung.

Ah! where was I when fiercely-frowning Death,
With brandisht Dart stood at still Midnight nigh,
Why came I not to catch thy dying Breath,
And close with trembling Hand thy languid Eye?
And on my sad Breast lay thy drooping Head,
And bath with Tears thy Hand so cold and dead?

Thee do I view in yonder flying Cloud,
Or do I hear thee in the hollow Wind,
Or dost thou still sleep in thy sable Shroud,
Where the dread Judgment-Trumpet Thee shall find:
O till that Day, ye pitying Angels come,
Shield with your Wings, and sing around his Tomb.

But if advanc’d to Heav’n’s empyreal Height,
Above with glorious martyr’d Saints to live,
‘Midst heav’nly Hymns, and Harps, and Visions bright,
And all the Joys a smiling God can give;
O be my watchful Guardian Angel still,
Save me from slavish Vice, from Folly, and from Ill.

From: http://spenserians.cath.vt.edu/TextRecord.php?action=GET&textsid=34293

Date: 1748

By: Jane Warton (1723-1809)

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