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The myrtle (ensign of supreme command,
TO LADY FIREBRACE.
AT BURY ASSIZES.
AT length, must Suffolk beauties shine in vain,
AN ELDERLY LADY.
YE nymphs, whom starry rays invest,
By flatt'ring poets given;
In all the pomp of heaven;
This lady was Bridget, third daughter of Philip Bacon, esq. of Ipswich, and relict of Philip Evers, esq. of that town. She became the second wife of sir Cordell Firebrace, the last baronet of that name, to whom she brought a fortune of £25,000, July 26, 1737. Being again left a widow, in 1759, she was a third time married, April 7, 1762, to William Campbell, esq. uncle to the late duke of Argyle, and died July 3, 1782.
Engross not all the beams on high,
Which gild a lover's lays;
Her silver locks display the moon,
Strip'd rainbows round her eyes are seen,
Her teeth the night with darkness dies,
But some Zelinda, while I sing,
Yet, spite of fair Zelinda's eye,
ON THE DEATH OF
MR. ROBERT LEVET,
A PRACTISER IN PHYSICK.
CONDEMN'D to hope's delusive mine,
Our social comforts drop away.
These stanzas, to adopt the words of Dr. Drake, "are warm from the heart; and this is the only poem, from the pen of Johnson, that has been bathed with tears." Levet was Johnson's constant and attentive companion, for near forty years; he was a practitioner in physic, among the lower class of people,
Well try'd, through many a varying year,
Of ev'ry friendless name the friend.
Yet still he fills affection's eye,
When fainting nature call'd for aid,
His vig'rous remedy display'd
The pow'r of art, without the show.
In mis'ry's darkest cavern known,
No summons, mock'd by chill delay,
The toil of ev'ry day supply'd.
His virtues walk'd their narrow round,
The busy day--the peaceful night,
His frame was firm-his pow'rs were bright,
in London. Humanity, rather than desire of gain, seems to have actuated this single hearted and amiable being; and never were the virtues of charity recorded in more touching strains. "I am acquainted," says Dr. Drake, "with nothing superior to them in the productions of the moral muse." See Drake's Literary Life of Johnson; and Boswell, i. ii. iii. iv.—ED.
Then, with no fiery throbbing pain,
EPITAPH ON CLAUDE PHILLIPS,
AN ITINERANT MUSICIAN'.
PHILLIPS! whose touch harmonious could remove
THOMAM HANMER, BARONETTUM.
Honorabilis admodum THOMAS HANMER,
These lines are among Mrs. Williams's Miscellanies: they are, nevertheless, recognised as Johnson's, in a memorandum of his handwriting, and were probably written at her request. This Phillips was a fiddler, who travelled up and down Wales, and was much celebrated for his skill. The above epitaph, according to Mr. Boswell, won the applause of lord Kames, prejudiced against Johnson as he was. It was published in Mrs. Williams's Miscellanies, and was, at first, ascribed to Garrick, from its appearing with the signature G.— Garrick, however, related, that they were composed, almost impromptu, by Johnson, on hearing some lines on the subject, by Dr. Wilkes, which he disapproved. See Boswell, i. 126, where is, likewise, preserved an epigram, by Johnson, on Colley Cibber and George the second, whose illiberal treatment of artists and learned men was a constant theme of his execration. As it has not yet been inserted among Johnson's works, we will present it to the readers of the present edition, in this note.
Augustus still survives in Maro's strain,
At Hanmer church, in Flintshire.
Wilhelmi Hanmer armigeri, e Peregrina Henrici
De Mildenhall, in Com. Suffolciæ, baronetti sorore
Johannis Hanmer de Hanmer baronetti
Antiquo gentis suæ et titulo et patrimonio successit.
Alteram Isabellam, honore a patre derivato, de
Deinde celsissimi principis, ducis de Grafton, viduam dotariam:
Alteram Elizabetham, Thomæ Foulkes de Barton, in Com. Suff. armigeri
Filiam et hæredem.
Inter humanitatis studia feliciter enutritus, Omnes liberalium artium disciplinas avide arripuit, Quas morum suavitate haud leviter ornavit. Postquam excessit ex ephebis,
Continuo inter populares suos fama eminens, Et comitatus sui legatus ad parliamentum missus, Ad ardua regni negotia, per annos prope triginta, se accinxit:
Cumque, apud illos amplissimorum virorum ordines,
Sed probe perpensa diserte expromere,
Non minus integritatis quam eloquentiæ laude
Æque omnium, utcunque inter se alioqui dissidentium,
Annoque demum M.DCC.XIII. regnante Anna,
Communi senatus universi voce, designatus est:
Cum nullo tempore non difficile,