Verses Written In Westminster Abbey.

A poem by Samuel Rogers

Whoe'er thou art, approach, and, with a sigh,
Mark where the small remains of Greatness lie.[2]
There sleeps the dust of Him for ever gone;
How near the Scene where once his Glory shone!
And, tho' no more ascends the voice of Prayer,
Tho' the last footsteps cease to linger there,
Still, like an awful Dream that comes again,
Alas, at best, as transient and as vain,
Still do I see (while thro' the vaults of night
The funeral-song once more proclaims the rite)
The moving Pomp along the shadowy Isle,
That, like a Darkness, fill'd the solemn Pile;
The illustrious line, that in long order led,
Of those that lov'd Him living, mourn'd Him dead;
Of those, the Few, that for their Country stood
Round Him who dar'd be singularly good;
All, of all ranks, that claim'd Him for their own;
And nothing wanting--but Himself alone! [3]
Oh say, of Him now rests there but a name;
Wont, as He was, to breathe ethereal flame?
Friend of the Absent! Guardian of the Dead! [4]
Who but would here their sacred sorrows shed?
(Such as He shed on NELSON'S closing grave;
How soon to claim the sympathy He gave!)
In Him, resentful of another's wrong,
The dumb were eloquent, the feeble strong.
Truth from his lips a charm celestial drew--
Ah, who so mighty and so gentle too?
What tho' with War the madding Nations rung,
'Peace,' when He spoke, dwelt ever on his tongue!
Amidst the frowns of Power, the tricks of State,
Fearless, resolv'd, and negligently great!
In vain malignant vapours gather'd round;
He walk'd, erect, on consecrated ground.
The clouds, that rise to quench the Orb of day,
Reflect its splendour, and dissolve away!
When in retreat He laid his thunder by,
For letter'd ease and calm Philosophy,
Blest were his hours within the silent grove,
Where still his god-like Spirit deigns to rove;
Blest by the orphan's smile, the widow's prayer,
For many a deed, long done in secret there.
There shone his lamp on Homer's hallow'd page.
There, listening, sate the hero and the sage;
And they, by virtue and by blood allied,
Whom most He lov'd, and in whose arms He died.
Friend of all Human-kind! not here alone
(The voice, that speaks, was not to Thee unknown)
Wilt Thou be miss'd,--O'er every land and sea
Long, long shall England be rever'd in Thee!
And, when the Storm is hush'd--in distant years--
Foes on thy grave shall meet, and mingle tears!

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