"A mind in wisdom old, in lenience young, / From fervent truth where every virtue sprung; / Where all was real, modest, plain, sincere; / Worth above show, and goodness unsevere: / View'd round and round, as lucid diamonds throw / Still as you turn them a revolving glow, / So did his mind reflect with secret ray, / In various virtues, Heaven's internal day."
— Thomson, James (1700-1748)
Just as the living forms by thee design'd;
Of Raphael's figures none should fairer shine,
Nor Titian's colours longer last than mine.
A mind in wisdom old, in lenience young,
From fervent truth where every virtue sprung;
Where all was real, modest, plain, sincere;
Worth above show, and goodness unsevere:
View'd round and round, as lucid diamonds throw
Still as you turn them a revolving glow,
So did his mind reflect with secret ray,
In various virtues, Heaven's internal day;
Whether in high discourse it soar'd sublime
And sprung impatient o'er the bounds of Time,
Or wandering nature through with raptured eye,
Adored the hand that turn'd yon azure sky:
Whether to social life he bent his thought,
And the right poise of mingling passions sought,
Gay converse bless'd; or in the thoughtful grove
Bid the heart open every source of love:
New varying lights still set before your eyes
The just, the good, the social, or the wise.
For such a death who can, who would refuse
The friend a tear, a verse the mournful muse?
Yet pay we just acknowledgment to heaven,
Though snatch'd so soon, that Aikman e'er was given.
A friend, when dead, is but removed from sight,
Hid in the lustre of eternal light:
Oft with the mind he wonted converse keeps
In the lone walk, or when the body sleeps
Lets in a wandering ray, and all elate
Wings and attracts her to another state;
And, when the parting storms of life are o'er,
May yet rejoin him in a happier shore.
As those we love decay, we die in part,
String after string is sever'd from the heart;
Till loosen'd life at last--but breathing clay,
Without one pang, is glad to fall away.
Unhappy he who latest feels the blow,
Whose eyes have wept o'er every friend laid low,
Dragg'd lingering on from partial death to death;
And dying, all he can resign is breath.
(ll. 1-40, pp. 288-90)
Reading James Thomson, Liberty, The Castle of Indolence, and other Poems, ed. James Sambrook (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1986).