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On the DEATH of
A very young Gentleman.
E who could view the book of Jestiny,
And read whatever there was writ of thee, O charming youth, in the first op’ning page, So many graces in fo green an age, Such wit, such modesty, such strength of mind, A soul at once so manly, and so kind;, Would wonder, when he turn'd the volume o'er, And after some few leaves should find no more, Nought but a blank remain, a dead void fpace, A step of life that promis’d such a race. We must not, dare not think, that heaven began A child, and could not finish him a man; Reflecting what a mighty store was laid Of rich materials, and a model made : The cost already furnish'd ; so bestow'd, As more was never to one foul allow'd : Yet after this profusion spent in vain, Nothing but mould'ring alhes to remain, I guess not, left I split upon the shelf, Yet durft I guess, heaven kept it for himself;
And giving us the use, did soon recal,
Thus then he disappear’d, was rarify'd;
As fuch we lov'd, admir'd, almost ador'd, Gave all the tribute mortals could afford. Perhaps we gave so much, the powers above Grew angry at our superstitious love : For when we more than human homage pay, The charming cause is justly snatch'd away.
Thus was the crime not his, but ours alone : And yet we murmur that he went so soon ; Tho miracles are short and rarely shown.
Hearn then, ye mournful parents, and divide
F gentle blood, his parents only treasure,
ARK how the lark and linnet sing ;
With rival notes They strain their warbling throats,
To welcome in the spring.
But in the close of night,
They cease their mutual spite,
So ceas'd the rival crew, when Purcell came;
The godlike man,
We beg not hell our Orpheus to restore:
Had he been there,
Their sovereign's fear
Had sent him back before. The
power of harmony too well they knew : He long ere this had tun'd their jarring sphere, And left no hell below.
III. Theheavenly choir, who heard his notes from high, Let down the scale of music from the sky:
They handed him along, And allthe way he taught, and all the way they sung. Ye breth'ren of the lyre, and tuneful voice, Lament his lot; but at your own rejoice : Now live secure, and linger out your days ; The gods are pleas'd alone with Purcell's lays,
Nor know to mend their choice.