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On the DEATH of a FRIEND.

1 Adieu, dear Emma; now, alas! no more,
2 Deaths icy hand, hath chill'd thy tender frame,
3 In endless sighs, the loss I will deplore,
4 Revere thy memory, and exalt thy name.
5 Let soft humanity incline an ear,
6 Let gentle pity listen to my song,
7 Let every tender bosom grant a tear,
8 And Emma's virtues, flow from every tongue.
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9 Her heart was faithful, and her soul sincere,
10 Her temper gentle as the turtle dove,
11 In person beauteous, and in judgment clear,
12 Inspir'd by virtue, and sustain'd by love.
13 Her conscious soul unknowing how to feign,
14 Was true to honor, and it's sacred laws,
15 Her tender bosom felt another's pain,
16 And glow'd with fervent zeal, in friendship's cause.
17 And yet, alas! these virtues could not save,
18 For one short moment, the departing breath,
19 Fate had decreed this victim to the grave,
20 And all must yield to the cold arms of death.
21 Then what avails my misery and grief,
22 Can it to life the heavenly maid restore,
23 Can tears or wishes now afford relief,
24 Or give me back the treasure I deplore.
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25 Can earthly sorrow add one joy to those,
26 Whose pure delight exceeds all human thought,
27 Can weak mortality afford repose,
28 Greater than that, with which thy soul is fraught.
29 Yet friendship, says, the strain, I must prolong,
30 Her virtues still demand a generous tear,
31 They still require the tributary song,
32 A faithful friend her mem'ry to revere.
33 While I have life, or memory, or sense,
34 To Emma's kindred shrine my praise is due,
35 Her soul was guided by pure innocence,
36 Nor envy, nor deceit, her bosom knew.
37 She was the first to sing in virtue's praise,
38 To cherish truth in every tender breast,
39 And teach the young to tread the potent ways,
40 Which lead to glory, and eternal rest.
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41 Alas! ye gay, consider well her fate,
42 Remember life is but a fleeting day,
43 Howe'er with affluence bless'd, or soon, or late,
44 Death's cruel summons we must all obey.
45 Be innocent, be chaste, from folly free,
46 In this precarious life serenely move,
47 Submit with patience to just heaven's decree,
48 Be firm in friendship, and sincere in love.
49 Let sacred honour guide your erring feet,
50 With kind compassion, and with grace divine,
51 Let every virtue in your bosoms meet,
52 And meek humility, with wisdom join.
53 Content, like Emma, in an humble state,
54 Seek not for grandeur, or vain pageantry,
55 Nor yet with envious eye behold the great;
56 The beggar, and the prince, alike must die.
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57 Then, ah! farewell, my gen'rous, honour'd friend,
58 Accept the tear, to thy remembrance due,
59 Till memory and feeling has an end,
60 Nor worldly pleasures shall my grief subdue.
61 May kindred angels waft thy soul to rest,
62 May all thy merit meet it's full reward,
63 May you be number'd with the pure and blest,
64 And Emma's spirit be Maria's guard.

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About this text

Title (in Source Edition): On the DEATH of a FRIEND.
Themes: death
Genres: heroic quatrain; elegy; occasional poem

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Source edition

Poems by Mrs. Robinson. London: Printed for C. Parker, the Upper Part of New Bond-Street, 1775, pp. 53-57. [8],134p.,plate; 8°. (ESTC T100118)

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The text has been typographically modernized, but without any silent modernization of spelling, capitalization, or punctuation. The source of the text is given and all editorial interventions have been recorded in textual notes. Based on the electronic text originally produced by the ECCO-TCP project, this ECPA text has been edited to conform to the recommendations found in Level 5 of the Best Practices for TEI in Libraries version 3.0.