Physician and Naturalist to Lord Amherst, Governor General of India, who died at Cawnpoor, 24th of November, 1826.
Another awful warning voice of death
To human dignity, and human pride;
'Tis sad, to mark how short the longest life--
How brief was thine! Thy day is done,
And all its complicated hopes and fears
Lie buried, ABEL! in an early grave.
The unavailing tear for thee shall flow,
And love and friendship faithful record keep
Of all thy varied worth, thy anxious strife
For fame and years, now gone for ever!
Yet o'er thy tomb science and learning
Bend in mute regret, and truth proclaims
Thy just inheritance an honour'd name!
Lamented most by those who knew thee best,
Accept this humble, tributary lay,
From one, who in thy boyhood and thy prime
Had shared thy friendship, and had fondly hoped
When last we parted, many years were thine
And joys in store--that thy elastic mind
Might long have gladden'd life's monotony.
Thine was a princely heart, a joyous soul,
The charm of reason, and the sprightly wit
Which kept dull letter'd ignorance in awe,
Shook the pretender on his tinsel throne,
And claim'd the glorious dignity of mind!
Alas! that in thy prime, when time began
To make thee nearly all the World could wish,
The spoiler Death should unrelenting come
(As though in envy of thy wondrous skill)
And stop the fountain of a noble heart.
Rest, anxious spirit! from life's feverish dream,
From all its sad realities and cares:
Be this thy Epitaph, thy honour'd boast--
Thine was the fame, which thine own mind achieved!