For the grave of ISIS Written at Exmouth 1794

For the grave of
Written at Exmouth
1794 [1] 

Stranger, who hither shall be led,
In search of health, or social mirth,
Approach in peace this silent bed
Of sacred, monumental earth.
If amid scenes of gay delights,5
Yon lowly roof which rises near,
Affords thee calmly, shelter'd nights,
And peaceful days as I knew here.
Oh, then disdain not here to turn!
Nor yet disdain this humble song;10
Tho' in no lofty strains I mourn,
Nor speak my griefs in language strong.
Yet to my Isis tears are due,
Affection sure some tears may claim,
And I will weep a friend so true,15
Nor deem the tribute worthy shame.
A friend whose fond, and faithful zeal
No poverty could fright away,
Whose heart could no resentment feel
Nor own ingratitude's proud sway.20
Who pleas'd desir'd no state more sweet
Than still to live for me alone,
And ever happy at my feet,
Only my absence could bemoan.
When from afar my step she knew25
Oh with what rapture would she burn!
Alas, in life how very few
I now can glad by my return!
Who now beneath my silent roof
Shall spring delighted at my voice?30
By each endearing, artless proof,
Shew that they can like her rejoice?
The grateful tokens of that love,
That love sincere could ever please,
And I rejoice I ne'er could prove,35
The cruel wounder of her ease.
Ne'er in a wanton, savage hour
Could I for sport inflict a pain,
Or wilfully exert a power
Which might her happiness restrain.40
Her form was graceful, manners mild,
And more than canine sense her share;
Her sportive charms my hours beguil'd
When stern I felt thy influence care!
The gay companion of my joys,45
Partner of hours for ever dear,
The witness of my secret sighs,
And many a lonely, bitter tear.
No more she now requires my care,
For ever silent, ever cold,50
A little earth the only share
Of her I must no more behold.
Then let this quiet dust I crave
Be still with pious care preserv'd,
Nor e'er disturb the humble grave55
Of her who hath so much deserv'd.
So may the earth with flowers be strew'd,
Wherein at last, thou too must rest,
And the green turf with tears bedew'd
Lye lightly on thy gentle breast.60


[1] EDITOR'S NOTE: "For the Grave of Isis Written at Exmouth 1794" does not appear in Psyche, with Other Poems or Mary (or Collected Poems and Journals); like "Dirge Written at Brompton January 12 1805" in volume two of Verses this lyric mourns the death of Tighe's dog, Isis. BACK