To G. H. Esq

CELEBRATED AS A WRITER OF EPITAPHS

I F you were our Parish-clerk,
The dead who now are in the dark
In sculptur'd rhyme again would breathe,
Adorn'd by your poetic wreath.
For all deceas'd your lines are pat —
We name the head, you find the hat.
The Misses elegantly die,
If their inscription you supply;
And an old maid, if you adorn her,
Looks tempting in a Poet's corner:
Nor age, nor difference of the sexes,
Your elegiac Muse perplexes;
Creation's bottom, or its top,
Finds your accommodating shop —
A Cupid , with his bow and arrow,
A Hero, or a little Sparrow.
In short, whatever flesh is clay,
One longs to be as dead as they;
You 're so polite and so genteel,
That equally for all you feel.
As if the journeyman of Time,
You put his ashes into rhyme,
Whenever a commodious death
Turns into verse the parted breath;
And you have such a taste for crying,
That we oblige you most in dying;
And you would rather die yourself
Than lay your tombstone on the shelf.
Oh, come then to the parish hearse,
And grace it with funereal verse!
New life on breath's departure shed,
And be the Laureat o the dead!
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