Epitaph, To the Memory of Lord Keppel


Though Fortune bends to Life's unvarying doom,
And Nature stops her blessings at the tomb;
Though Wisdom's triumph and the boast of Birth
Must, undistinguish'd, mix with meanest Earth;
The lasting Moral faithful Fame supplies,
And Memory lends the mark that Death denies.
Yet the grav'd Pile in vain shall breathe, the Verse
In vain present to Time the blazon'd hearse,
Where Heaven's invalued bounties we debase,
The last in merit, though the first in place;
But thee, who oft in Virtue's dear defence
Bared thy bold breast, and urged thy manly sense,
Or, when thy country claim'd a soldier's care,
Borne on the wings of Glory to the war,
Or in fair Friendship's pledge, and proud array,
Oppos'd to guilty Faction's secret sway,
While every private wrong too soon forgiven,
Breath'd the meek spirit of forbearing heaven;
Thee — mild yet firm, thee — placable yet brave,
The Muse shall tell, and disappoint the grave,
And-History guard thy deeds from envying Age
To moralize at once and grace her page.
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