Elegy (1789)

ELEGY (1789)  [*] 

Tell me, my troubled soul, why thou dost live,
’Midst perishable dust, in worse than nought?
What is the joy—if earth a joy can give—
To make thy longer tarrying worth a thought?
Friendship thou lov’st, from God the cherub came5
To link congenial souls, and bid them soar;—
Thy raptures spring from friendship’s sacred flame,
Fair op’ning friendship,—and the hope of more.
Though fled his kindred spirit from my sight,
His cheering converse vibrates on my ear;10
Though here he speaks no more, the silent night
Recalls each word, and seals it with a tear!
This, his cold bed? Heart, pour thy anguish forth,
While the pale moon-beams witness to thy truth;
O tell, if language can, his early worth—15
Tell what I lost—when droop’d the gen’rous youth.
Affection cries—he virtue’s paths had trod;
His mind wide opening, anxious to improve,
He wonder’d hourly at the works of God:
His soul was wisdom, and his heart was love.20
Meekness and truth in every word he said,
Pity’s soft tears would tremble in his eyes;
All gentle virtues, bless’d him while he staid;
And waft him from us, to their native skies.

Notes

*Published in Remains, where Bloomfield’s note is quoted:] ‘The following lines, written in 1789, on the death of my half-brother, Isaac Glover, who died at the age of sixteen, were almost lost to my friends, and entirely lost to my own memory;—but my sister having discovered them in an old pocket-book, has kindly transcribed them for me. I here write them verbatim, from her copy’. BACK

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