Venta! within Thy Sacred Fane

Venta! within thy sacred fane
Rests many a chief in battle slain;
And many a Statesman great & wise
Beneath thy hallowed pavement lies:
Tracing thy venerable pile,
Thy Gothic choir and Pillared Aisle;
Frequent we tread the vaulted grave
Where sleep the learned & the Brave.
High on the Screen on either hand
Old Saxons Monarchs Coffins stand.
Below beneath his sable Stone
Lies the Conquerors haughty Son;
Immured within the Chapels wall
Sleep Mitred Priest and Cardinal.
And honoured Wickham lies reclined
In Gothic tracery enshrined.

But sure since Williams purer taste
Old Walkelyn's heavier style effaced
Ore the plain roof the fret work spread
And formed the Arch with lancet head;
Neer did this venerable fane
More Beauty, Sense & worth contain
Than when upon a Sister's bier
Her Brothers dropt the bitter tear.

In her (rare union) were combined
A fair form and a fairer mind
Hers, Fancy quick, and clear good sense
And wit which never gave offence:
A Heart as warm as ever beat,
A Temper even calm and sweet:
Though quick and keen her mental eye
Poor natures foibles to descry
And seemed for ever on the watch
Some traits of ridicule to catch.
Yet not a word she ever pen'd
Which hurt the feelings of a friend
And not a line she ever wrote
" Which dying, she would wish to blot."
But to her family alone
Her real & genuine worth was known:
Yes! They whose lot it was to prove
Her Sisterly, her Filial love,
They saw her ready still to share
The labours of domestic care
As if their prejudice to shame;
Who jealous of fair female fame
Maintain, that literary taste
In womans mind is much displaced;
Inflames their vanity and pride,
And draws from useful works aside.

Such wert Thou, Sister! whilst below
In this mixt scene of joy and woe,
To have thee with us it was given
A special kind behest of Heaven.
What now thou art! we cannot tell:
Nor where, the just made perfect dwell
Know we as yet: to us denied
To draw that parting veil aside,
Which twixt two different worlds outspread
Divides the Living from the Dead.
But yet with all humility,
The change, we trust was [fair] for thee.
For oh! If so much genuine worth
In its imperfect state on Earth
So fair and so attractive proved
By all around admired and loved:
Who then the Change dare calculate
Attendant on that happy state,
When by the body unconfined
All Sense, Intelligence and mind
By Seraphs born through realms of light
(While Angles gladden at the sight)
The Atherial Spirit wings its way
To regions of attendant day. —
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