On The Monument Of A Fair Maiden Lady, Who Died At Bath, And Is There Interred.

A poem by John Dryden

Below this marble monument is laid
All that heaven wants of this celestial maid.
Preserve, O sacred tomb! thy trust consign'd;
The mould was made on purpose for the mind:
And she would lose, if, at the latter day,
One atom could be mix'd of other clay.
Such were the features of her heavenly face,
Her limbs were form'd with such harmonious grace:
So faultless was the frame, as if the whole
Had been an emanation of the soul:
Which her own inward symmetry reveal'd
And like a picture shone, in glass anneal'd.
Or like the sun eclipsed, with shaded light:
Too piercing, else, to be sustain'd by sight.
Each thought was visible that roll'd within:
As through a crystal case the figured hours are seen.
And Heaven did this transparent veil provide,
Because she had no guilty thought to hide.
All white, a virgin-saint, she sought the skies:
For marriage, though it sullies not, it dyes.
High though her wit, yet humble was her mind:
As if she could not, or she would not find
How much her worth transcended all her kind.
Yet she had learn'd so much of heaven below,
That, when arrived, she scarce had more to know:
But only to refresh the former hint,
And read her Maker in a fairer print.
So pious, as she had no time to spare
For human thoughts, but was confined to prayer.
Yet in such charities she pass'd the day,
'Twas wondrous how she found an hour to pray.
A soul so calm, it knew not ebbs or flows,
Which passion could but curl, not discompose.
A female softness, with a manly mind:
A daughter duteous, and a sister kind:
In sickness patient, and in death resign'd.

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