54. Robert Bloomfield, copy of 'Lines Written on the Death of his Brother, Isaac Glover', 31 May 1801*
The following lines were written in the Autumn of 1789 on the Death of my brother who died under the age of 16. I reserved no copy of them, and they had been allmost forgot by my friends, and quite forgot by myself; but I am glad to find that my sister Catharine have discovered a copy of the original in an old pocket-Book, and kindly transcribed it for me, which I here write verbatim from her copy.——May 31 — 1801
Tell me my troubled soul why dost thou live
Midst perishable dust, in worse than nought?
What is the joy, if earth a joy can give,
To make thy longer tarrying worth a thought?
Friendship thou lovest; from God the cherub came
To link congenial souls and bid them soar;
Thy raptures sprang from friendship's sacred name,
Fair op'ning friendship and the hope of more
Though fled the kindred spirit from my sight,
His charming converse vibrates on my ear;
Though he speaks no more, the silent night
Recalls each word and seals it with a tear.
This his cold bed!... Heart, pour thy anguish forth,
While the pale Moon bears witness to thy truth;
O tell, if language can, his early worth;
Tell what thou lost when droopd the generous youth.
Affection cries, he virtue's path had trod,
His mind wide opening anxious to improve;
He wonder'd hourly at the works of God,
His soul was wisdom, and his heart was love.
Meekness and truth in every word he said;
Pity's soft tears would tremble in his eyes;
All gentle virtues blessd him while he stay'd,
And wafts him from us to their native skies.