25+ Best Samuel Johnson Poems

Samuel Johnson, often referred to as Dr Johnson, was an English writer who made lasting contributions to English literature as a poet, playwright, essayist, moralist, literary critic, biographer, editor, and lexicographer. Religiously, he was a devout Anglican, and politically a committed Tory.

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Famous Samuel Johnson Poems

To Lady Firebrace

At length must Suffolk beauties shine in vain,
So long renown’d in B—n’s deathless strain?
Thy charms at least, fair Firebrace, might inspire
Some zealous bard to wake the sleeping lyre:
For such thy beauteous mind and lovely face,
Thou seem’st at once, bright nymph, a Muse and Grace.

To Myrtilis – The New Year’s Offering

Madam,
Long have I look’d my tablets o’er,
And find I’ve much to thank you for;
Outstanding debts beyond account,
And new – who knows to what amount?
Though small my wealth, not small my soul:
Come, then, at once I’ll pay the whole.
Ye powers! I’m rich and will command
The host of slaves that round me stand;
Come, Indian, quick disclose thy store,
And hither bring Peruvian ore:
Let yonder Negro pierce the main,
The choicest, largest pearl to gain:
Let all my slaves their art combine
To make the blushing ruby mine,
From eastern thrones the diamonds bear
To sparkle at her breast and ear.
Swift Scythian, point the unerring dart,
That strikes the ermine’s little heart,
And search for choicest furs the globe,
To make my Myrtilis a robe.
Ah, no! yon Indian will not go,
No Scythian designs to bed his bow,
No sullen Negro shoots the flood:
All, all my empty power disown,
I turn and find myself alone;
‘Tis Fancy’s vain illusion all,
No Moor nor Scythian waits my call.
Can I command, can I consign?
Alas! what earthly thing is mine?
Come, then, my Muse, companion dear,
Of poverty, and soul sincere;
Come, dictate to my grateful mind
A gift that may acceptance find;
Come, gentle Muse, and with thee bear
An offering worthy thee and her;
And though thy presents be but poor,
My Myrtilis will ask no more.
A Heart that scorns a shameful thing,
With love and verse is all I bring;
Of love and verse the gift receive,
‘Tis all thy servant has to give.
If all whate’er my verse has told,
Golconda’s gems, and Afric’s gold;
If all were mine from pole to pole,
How large her share who shares my soul!
But more than these may Heaven impart;
Be thine the treasures of the heart;
Be calm and glad thy future days
With virtue’s peace and virtue’s praise;
Let jealous pride, and sleepless care,
And wasting grief, and black despair,
And languor chill, and anguish fell,
For ever shun thy grove and cell;
There only may the happy train
Of love, and joy, and peace remain:
May plenty, with exhaustless store,
Employ thy hand to feed the poor,
And ever on thy honour’d head
The prayer of gratitude be shed!
A happy mother, may’st thou see
Thy smiling, virtuous progeny,
Whose sportful tricks, and airy play,
Fraternal love, and prattle gay,
Or wondrous tale, or joyful song,
May lure the lingering hours along;
Till death arrive, unfelt, unseen,
With gentle pace and placid mien,
And waft thee to that happy shore
Where wishes can have place no more.

To Miss Hickman, Playing the Spinet

Bright Stella, form’d for universal reign,
Too well you know to keep the slaves you gain;
When in your eyes resistless lightnings play,
Awed into love our conquer’d hearts obey,
And yield reluctant to despotic sway;
But when your music soothes the raging pain,
We bid propitious heaven prolong your reign,
We bless the tyrant, and we hug the chain.
When old Timotheus struck the vocal string,
Ambition’s fury fired the Grecian king:
Unbounded projects labouring in his mind,
He pants for room in one poor world confined.
Thus waked to rage by music’s dreadful power,
He bids the sword destroy, the flame devour.
Had Stella’s gentle touches moved the lyre,
Soon had the monarch felt the nobler fire:
No more delighted with destructive war,
Ambitious only now to please the fair;
Resign’d his thirst of empire to her charms,
And found a thousand worlds in Stella’s arms.

To Mrs. Thrale on Her Completing Her Thirty-fifth Year

Oft in danger, yet alive,
We are come to thirty-five;
Long may better years arrive,
Better years than thirty-five.
Could philosophers contrive
Life to stop at thirty-five,
Time his hours should never drive
O’er the bounds of thirty-five
High to soar, and deep to dive,
Nature gives at thirty-five.
Ladies, stop and tend your hive,
Trifle not at thirty-five;
For, howe’er we boast and strive,
Life declines from thirty-five:
He that ever hopes to thrive
Must begin by thirty-five:
And all who wisely wish to wive
Must look on Thrale at thirty-five.

Written at the Request of a Gentleman to Whom a Lady Had Given a Sprig of Myrtle

What hopes – what terrors does this gift create?
Ambiguous emblem of uncertain fate.
The myrtle (ensign of supreme command
Consign’d to Venus by Melissa’s hand),
Not less capricious than a reigning fair,
Oft favours, oft rejects a lover’s prayer.
In myrtle shades despairing ghosts complain:
The myrtle crowns the happy lover’s heads,
The unhappy lovers’ graves the myrtle spreads.
Oh! then the meaning of thy gift impart,
And ease the throbbings of an anxious heart:
Soon must this sprig, as you shall fix its doom,
Adorn Philander’s head, or grace his tomb.

The Vanity of Wealth

No more thus brooding o’er yon heap,
With avarice painful vigils keep:
Still unenjoy’d the present store,
Still endless sighs are breathed for more.
O! quit the shadow, catch the prize,
Which not all India’s treasure buys!
To purchase with heaven has gold the power?
Can gold remove the mortal hour?
In life can love be bought with gold?
Are friendship’s pleasures to be sold?
No! – all that’s worth a wish – a thought,
Fair virtue gives unbribed, unbought,
Cease then on trash thy hopes to bind,
Let noble views engage thy mind.
With science tread the wondrous way,
Or learn the Muses’ moral lay;
In social hours indulge thy soul,
Where mirth and temperance mix the bowl;
To virtuous love resign thy breast,
And be, by blessing beauty, – bless’d.
Thus taste the feast by Nature spread,
Ere youth and all its joys are fled;
Come taste with me the balm of life,
Secure from pomp, and wealth, and strife.
I boast whate’er for man was meant,
In health, and Stella, and content;
And scorn! (oh! let that scorn be thine!)
Mere things of clay, that dig the mine.

To Miss—,

{On her giving the author a gold and silk
net-work purse of her own weaving}.

Though gold and silk their charms unite
To make thy curious web delight,
In vain the varied work would shine,
If wrought by any hand but thine;
Thy hand that knows the subtler art,
To weave those nets that catch the heart.
Spread out by me the roving coin,
Thy nets may catch, but not confine;
Nor can I hope thy silken chain
The glittering vagrants shall restrain.
Why, Stella, was it then decreed
The heart once caught should ne’er be freed.

Winter

No more the morn with tepid rays
Unfolds the flower of various hue;
Noon spreads no more the genial blaze,
Nor gentle eve distills the dew.

The lingering hours prolong the night,
Usurping darkness shares the day;
Her mists restrain the force of light,
And Phoebus holds a doubtful sway.

By gloomy twilight half revealed,
With sighs we view the hoary hill,
The leafless wood, the naked field,
The snow-topp’d cot, the frozen rill.

No music warbles through the grove,
No vivid colours paint the plain;
No more with devious steps I rove
Through verdant paths, now sought in vain.

Aloud the driving tempest roars;
Congeal’d impetuous showers descend;
Haste, close the window, bar the doors,
Fate leaves me Stella, and a friend.

In nature’s aid let art supply
With light and heat my little sphere;
Rouse, rouse the fire, and pile it high;
Light up a constellation here.

Let music sound the voice of joy!
Or mirth repeat the jocund tale;
Let love his wanton wiles employ,
And o’er the season wine prevail.

Yet time life’s dreary winter brings,
When mirth’s gay tale shall please no more;
Nor music charm, though Stella sings;
Nor love, nor wine the spring restore.

Catch the, O! catch the transient hour,
Improve each moment as it flies;
Life’s a short Summer – man a flower,
He dies – alas! how soon he dies!

On Seeing a Bust of Mrs. Montague

Had this fair figure, which this frame displays,
Adorn’d in Roman time the brightest days,
In every dome, in every sacred place,
Her statue would have breathed an added grace,
And on its basis would have been enroll’d,
“This is Minerva, cast in Virtue’s mould.”

On the Death of Stephen Grey, F.R.S.

The Electrician

Long hast thou borne the burden of the day,
Thy task is ended, venerable Grey!
No more shall art thy dexterous hand require,
To break the sleep of elemental fire:
To rouse the powers that actuate Nature’s frame,
The momentaneous shock, th’ electric flame;
The flame, which at first, weak pupil of thy lore,
I saw, condemn’d, alas! to see no more.
Now, hoary sage, pursue thy happy flight
With swifter motion, haste to purer light.
Where Bacon waits with Newton and with Boyle,
To hail thy genius and applaud thy toil,
Where intuition breathes through time and space,
And mocks experiment’s successive race;
See tardy science toil at Nature’s laws,
And wonders how th’ effect obscures the cause.
Yet not to deep research or happy guess
Is view’d the life of hope, the death of peace;
Unbless’d the man, whom philosophic rage
Shall tempt to lose the Christian in the sage;
Not art but goodness pour’d the sacred ray
That cheer’d the parting hours of humble Grey.

Horace: Book II. Ode 9

Clouds do not always veil the skies,
Nor showers immerse the verdant plain;
Nor do the billows always rise,
Or storms afflict the ruffled main.

Nor, Valgius, on the Armenian shores
Do the chain’d waters always freeze;
Not always furious Boreas roars,
Or bends with violent force the trees.

But you are ever drown’d in tears,
For Mystes dead you ever mourn;
No setting Sol can ease your cares,
But find you sad at his return.

The wise experienced Grecian sage
Mourn’d not Antilochus so long;
Nor did King Priam’s hoary age
So much lament his slaughter’d son.

Leave off, at length, these woman’s sighs,
Augustus’ number’d trophies sing,
To whom all nations tribute bring.

Niphates rolls an humbler wave,
At length th’ undaunted Scythian yields,
Content to live the Roman slave,
And scarce forsakes his native fields.

Horace: Book IV. Ode 7

The snow dissolv’d, no more is seen;
The fields and woods, behold! are green;
The changing year renews the plain,
The rivers know their banks again;
The sprightly nymph and naked grace
The mazy dance together trace.
The changing year’s successive plan
Proclaims mortality to man.
Rough winter’s blasts to spring give way,
Spring yields to summer’s sovereign ray;
Then summer sinks in autumn’s reign,
And winter chills the world again:
Her losses soon the moon supplies,
But wretched man, when once he lies
Where Priam and his sons are laid,
Is nought but ashes and a shade.
Who knows if Jove, who counts our score,
Will toss us in a morning more?
What with your friend you nobly share,
At least, you rescue from your heir.
Not you, Torquatus, boast of Rome,
When Minos once has fix’d your doom,
Or eloquence, or splendid birth,
Or virtue, shall restore to earth.
Hippolytus, unjustly slain,
Diana calls to life in vain;
Nor can the might of Theseus rend
The chains of hell, that hold his friend.

Horace: Book 1, Ode 22

The man, my friend, whose conscious heart
With virtue’s sacred ardour glows,
Nor taints with death the envenom’d dart,
Nor needs the guard of Moorish bows:

Though Scythia’s icy cliffs he treads,
Or horrid Afric’s faithless sands;
Or where the fam’d Hydaspes spreads
His liquid wealth o’er barbarous lands.

For while by Chloe’s image charm’d,
Too far in Sabine woods I stray’d;
Me singing, careless and unarm’d,
A grisly wolf surprised, and fled.

No savage more portentous stain’d
Apulia’s spacious wilds with gore;
None fiercer Juba’s thirsty land,
Dire nurse of raging lions, bore.

Place me where no soft summer gale
Among the quivering branches sighs;
Where clouds condensed for ever veil
With horrid gloom the frowning skies;

Place me beneath the burning line,
A clime denied to human race;
I’ll sing of Cloe’s charms divine,
Her heavenly voice, and beauteous face.

Burlesque

Of the modern versifications of
ancient legendary tales. – An impromptu.

The tender infant, meek and mild,
Fell down upon the stone:
The nurse took p the squealing child,
But still the child squeal’d on.

From Boethius

O Thou! whose power o’er moving worlds presides,
Whose voice created, and whose wisdom guides,
On darkling man in pure effulgence shine,
And cheer the clouded mind with light divine.
‘Tis thine alone to calm the pious breast
With silent confidence and holy rest;
From thee, great God! we spring; to thee we bend;
Path, motive, guide, original, and end.

Epitaph on Sir Thomas Hanmer, Bart.

Thou who survey’st these walls with curious eye,
Pause at this tomb where Hanmer’s ashes lie;
His various worth through varied life attend,
And learn his virtues while thou mourn’st his end.
His force of genius burn’d in early youth,
With thirst of knowledge, and with love of truth;
His learning, joined with each endearing art,
Charm’d every ear, and gain’d every heart.
Thus early wise, the endanger’d real to aid,
His country call’d him from the studious shade;
In life’s first bloom his public toils began,
At once commenced the senator and man.
In business dexterous, weighty in debate,
Thrice ten long years he labour’d for the state;
In every speech persuasive wisdom flow’d,
In every act refulgent virtue glow’d;
Suspended faction ceased from rage and strife,
To hear his eloquence, and praise his life.
Resistless merit fix’d the senate’s choice,
Who hail’d him Speaker with united voice.
Illustrious age! how bright thy glories shone,
When Hanmer fill’d the chair – and Anne the throne.
Then when dark art obscured each fierce debate,
When mutual frauds perplex’d the maze of state,
The Moderator firmly mild appear’d –
Beheld with love – with veneration heard.
This task perform’d – he sought no gainful post
Nor wish’d to glitter at his country’s cost;
Strict on the right he fix’d his stedfast eye,
With temperate zeal, and wise anxiety;
Nor e’er from Virtue’s paths was lured aside,
To pluck the flowers of pleasure or of pride.
Her gifts despis’d, Corruption blush’d and fled,
And Fame pursued him where Conviction led.
Age call’d, at length, his active mind to rest,
With honour sated, and with cares oppress’d;
To letter’d ease retired and honest mirth,
To rural grandeur, and domestic worth:
Delighted still to please mankind, or mend,
The patriot’s fire yet sparkled in the friend.
Calm Conscience then, his former life survey’d,
And recollected toils endeared the shade,
Till Nature call’d him to the general doom,
And Virtue’s sorrow dignified his tomb.

Stella In Mourning

When lately Stella’s form display’d
The beauties of the gay brocade,
The nymphs, who found their power decline,
Proclaim’d her not so fair as fine.
“Fate! snatch away the bright disguise,
And let the goddess trust her eyes.”
Thus blindly pray’d the fretful pair,
And Fate malicious heard the prayer;
But brighten’d by the sable dress,
As virtue rises in distress,
Since Stella still extends her reign,
Ah! how shall envy soothe her pain?
“Th’ adoring youth and envious fair,
Henceforth shall form one common prayer
And love and hate alike implore
The skies – “That Stella mourn no more.”

Summer

O Phoebus! down the western sky,
Far hence diffuse thy burning ray,
Thy light to distant worlds supply,
And wake them to the cares of day.

Come, gentle Eve, the friend of care,
Come, Cynthia, lovely queen of night!
Refresh me with a cooling breeze,
And cheer me with a lambent light.

Lay me, where o’er the verdant ground
Her living carpet Nature spreads;
Where the green bower with roses crown’d,
In showers its fragrant foliage spreads.

Improve the peaceful hour with wine,
Let music die along the grove;
Around the bowl let myrtles twine,
And every strain be tuned to love.

Come, Stella, queen of all my heart!
Come, born to fill its vast desires!
Thy looks perpetual joy impart,
Thy voice perpetual love inspires.

Whilst all my wish and thine complete,
By turns we languish and we burn,
Let sighing gales our sights repeat,
Our murmurs – murmuring brooks return.

Let me when Nature calls to rest,
And blushing skies the morn foretell,
Sink on the down of Stella’s breast,
And bid the waking world farewell.

Part of the Dialogue Between Hector and Andromache

She ceas’d; then godlike Hector answer’d kind –
(His various plumage sporting in the wind)
“That post and all the rest shall be my care;
But shall I then forsake the unfinish’d war?
How would the Trojans brand great Hector’s name!
And one base action sully all my fame,
Acquired by wounds, and battles bravely fought!
Oh! how my soul abhors so mean a thought.
Long have I learnt to slight this feeble breath,
And view with cheerful eyes approaching death.
The inexorable sisters have decreed
That Priam’s house and Priam’s self shall bleed:
The day shall come, in which proud Troy shall yield,
And spread its smoking ruins o’er the field.
Yet Hecuba’s, nor Priam’s hoary age,
Whose blood shall quench some Grecian’s thirsty rage;
Their souls dismiss’d through many a ghastly wound,
Can in my bosom half that grief create,
As the sad thought of your impending fate:
When some proud Grecian dame shall tasks impose,
Mimic your years, and ridicule your woes:
Beneath Hyperia’s waters shall you sweat,
And, fainting, scarce support the liquid weight:
Then shall some Argive loud insulting cry,
“Behold the wife of Hector, guard of Troy!”
Tears, at my name, shall drown those beauteous eyes,
And that fair bosom heave with rising sighs!
Before that day, by some brave hero’s hand,
May I lie slain, and spurn the bloody sand!”

Drury-lane Prologue Spoken by Mr. Garrick

When Learning’s triumph o’er her barb’rous foes
First rear’d the stage, immortal Shakespear rose;
Each change of many-colour’d life he drew,
Exhausted worlds, and then imagin’d new:
Existence saw him spurn her bounded reign,
And panting Time toil’d after him in vain:
His pow’rful strokes presiding Truth impress’d,
And unresisted Passion storm’d the breast.
Then Jonson came, instructed from the school,
To please in method, and invent by rule;
His studious patience, and laborious art,
By regular approach essay’d the heart;
Cold Approbation gave the ling’ring bays,
For those who durst not censure, scarce could praise.
A mortal born he met the general doom,
But left, like Egypt’s kings, a lasting tomb.
The Wits of Charles found easier ways to fame,
Nor wish’d for Jonson’s art, or Shakespear’s flame,
Themselves they studied, as they felt, they writ,
Intrigue was plot, obscenity was wit.
Vice always found a sympathetic friend;
They pleas’d their age, and did not aim to mend.
Yet bards like these aspir’d to lasting praise,
And proudly hop’d to pimp in future days.
Their cause was gen’ral, their supports were strong,
Their slaves were willing, and their reign was long;
Till Shame regain’d the post that Sense betray’d,
And Virtue call’d Oblivion to her aid.
Then crush’d by rules, and weaken’d as refin’d,
For years the pow’r of tragedy declin’d;
From bard, to bard, the frigid caution crept,
Till Declamation roar’d, while Passion slept.
Yet still did Virtue deign the stage to tread,
Philosophy remain’d, though Nature fled.
But forc’d at length her ancient reign to quit,
She saw great Faustus lay the ghost of wit:
Exulting Folly hail’d the joyful day,
And pantomime, and song, confirm’d her sway.
But who the coming changes can presage,
And mark the future periods of the stage?—
Perhaps if skill could distant times explore,
New Behns, new Durfoys, yet remain in store.
Perhaps, where Lear has rav’d, and Hamlet died,
On flying cars new sorcerers may ride.
Perhaps, for who can guess th’ effects of chance?
Here Hunt may box, or Mahomet may dance.
Hard is his lot, that here by Fortune plac’d,
Must watch the wild vicissitudes of taste;
With ev’ry meteor of caprice must play,
And chase the new-blown bubbles of the day.
Ah! let not censure term our fate our choice,
The stage but echoes back the public voice.
The drama’s laws the drama’s patrons give,
For we that live to please, must please to live.
Then prompt no more the follies you decry,
As tyrants doom their tools of guilt to die;
‘Tis yours this night to bid the reign commence
Of rescu’d Nature, and reviving Sense;
To chase the charms of Sound, the pomp of Show,
For useful Mirth, and salutary Woe;
Bid scenic Virtue form the rising age,
And Truth diffuse her radiance from the stage.

Autumn

Alas! with swift and silent pace,
Impatient time rolls on the year;
The Seasons change, and Nature’s face
Now sweetly smiles, now frowns severe.

‘Twas Spring, ’twas Summer, all was gay,
Now Autumn bends a cloudy brow;
The flowers of Spring are swept away,
And Summer fruits desert the bough.

The verdant leaves that play’d on high,
And wanton’d on the western breeze,
Now trod in dust neglected lie,
As Boreas strips the bending trees.

The fields that waved with golden grain,
As russet heaths are wild and bare;
Not moist with dew, but drench’d in rain,
Nor health nor pleasure wanders there.

No more, while through the midnight shade
Beneath the moon’s pale orb I stray,
Soft pleasing woes my heart invade,
As Progne pours the melting lay.

From this capricious clime she soars,
O! would some god but wings supply!
To where each morn the Spring restores,
Companion of her flight I’d try.

Vain wish! me fate compels to bear
The downward season’s iron reign,
Compels to breathe the polluted air,
And shiver on a blasted plain.

What bliss to life can Autumn yield,
If glooms, and showers,and storms prevail;
And Ceres flies the naked field,
And flowers and fruits, and Phoebus fail.

Oh! what remains, what lingers yet,
To cheer me in the darkening hour!
The grape remains! the friend of wit,
In love, and mirth, of mighty power.

Haste – press the clusters, fill the bowl;
Apollo! shoot thy parting ray:
This gives the sunshine of the soul,
This god of health, and verse, and day.

Still – still the jocund train shall flow,
The pulse with vigorous rapture beat;
My Stella with new charms shall glow,
And every bliss in wine shall meet.

On Hearing Miss Thrale Consulting with a Friend About a Gown and Hat

Wear the gown and wear the hat,
Snatch thy pleasures while they last;
Hadst thou nine lives, like a cat,
Soon those nine lives would be pass’d.

Spring

Stern Winter now, by Spring repress’d
Forbears the long-continued strife;
And Nature, on her naked breast,
Delights to catch the gales of life.

Now o’er the rural kingdom roves,
Soft pleasures with her laughing train,
Love warbles in the vocal groves,
And vegetation plants the plain.

Unhappy! whom to beds of pain
Arthritic tyranny consigns;
Whom smiling Nature courts in vain,
Though rapture sings and beauty shines.

Yet though my limbs disease invades,
Her wings imagination tries,
And bears me to the peaceful shades,
Where ———- ‘s humble turrets rise.

Here let me through the vales pursue,
A guide – a father – and a friend,
Once more great Nature’s works renew,
Once more on Wisdom’s voice attend.

From false caresses, causeless strife,
Wild hope, vain fear, alike removed;
Here let me learn the use of life,
When best enjoy’d – when most improved.

Teach me, thou venerable bower,
Cool meditation’s quiet seat,
The generous scorn of venal power,
The silent grandeur of retreat.

When pride by guilt to greatness climbs,
Or raging factions rush to war,
Here let me learn to shun the crimes
I can’t prevent and will not share.

But lest I fall by subtler foes,
Bright wisdom teach me Curio’s art,
The swelling passions to compose,
And quell the rebels of the heart.

Friendship

Friendship! peculiar boon of Heaven,
The noble mind’s delight and pride,
To men and angels only given,
To all the lower world denied.

While love, unknown among the bless’d,
Parent of thousand wild desires,
The savage and the human breast
Torments alike with raging fires.

With bright, but oft destructive gleam,
Alike o’er all his lightnings fly,
Thy lambent glories only beam
Around the favourites of the sky.

Thy gentle flows of guiltless joys
On fools and villains ne’er descend;
In vain for thee the tyrant sighs,
And hugs a flatterer for a friend.

Directness of the brave and just,
Oh guide us through life’s darksome way!
And let the tortures of mistrust
On selfish bosoms only prey.

Nor shall thine ardours cease to glow,
When souls to peaceful climes remove.
What raised our virtue here below
Shall aid our happiness above.

On the Death of Dr. Robert Levet

Condemn’d to Hope’s delusive mine,
As on we toil from day to day,
By sudden blasts or slow decline,
Our social comforts drop away.

Well tried through many a varying year,
See Levet to the grave descend,
Officious, innocent, sincere,
Of every friendless name the friend.

Yet still he fills affection’s eye,
Obscurely wise and coursely kind;
Nor letter’d arrogance deny
Thy praise to merit unrefined.

When fainting nature call’d for aid,
And hovering death prepared the blow
His vigorous remedy display’d
The power of art without the show.

In misery’s darkest cavern known,
His useful care was ever nigh.
Where hopeless Anguish pour’d his groan,
And lonely want retired to die.

No summons mock’d by chill delay,
No petty gain disdain’d by pride;
The modest wants of every day
The toil of every day supplied.

His virtues walk’d their narrow round,
Nor made a pause, nor left a void;
And sure the Eternal Master found
The single talent well employ’d.

The busy day, the peaceful night,
Unfelt, uncounted, glided by;
His frame was firm – his powers were bright,
Though now his eightieth year was nigh.

Then with no fiery, throbbing pain,
No cold gradations of decay,
Death broke at once the vital chain,
And forced his soul the nearest way.

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