On this page
the ideas which an author designs to communicate : and in all such instances it must be pronounced irreconcilable with good writing . There is a kind of grief , however , and a state of hope
which demand utterance , which are fond of dwelling on their objects . * With a most elegant and richly-endowed mind , Bishop Lowth united the affections of a father and the firm and
joyful expectations of a believer in Revealed Religion . And we cannot judge correctly of this epitaph unless we keep in view his character and situation . The utmost to which a
Heathen , in similar circumstances , looked forward , was an union in the grave with his departed child : in this he could anticipate the termination of his grief ; in the thought of this he
could obtain a solace . A higher flight is taken by the contemplations of the Christian parent , as he bends over a daughter ' s tomb : his faith transports him to the < c day for which all other days were made ; " and , in the prospect of the renewal of virtuous affinities and
friendships , his sorrow vanishes , and is exchanged for sacred thankfulness and gratulation . These are the strains in which he addresses the object of his momentary anguish , and of his future and everlasting glory ! at veniet , & : e .
How different is such language from the plaintive effusions of those on whom the beams of Revelation had not dawned ! 1 transcribe the lines which a Grecian poet - \ represents as flowing from a mother , on the death of her
son : " Unhappy child ! Unhappy I , who shed A mother ' s sorrows o ' er thy funeral bed \ Thou ' rt gone in youth , Amyntas ; I , in age , Must wander thro' a lonely pilgrimage
And sigh for regions of unchanging night , And sicken at the day ' s repeated light . Oh , guide me hence , sweet spirit , to that bourn Where in thy presence I shall cease to mourn !"
Bland . She desires to make the grave her * De Sacra Poe . si Hebraeor ., Prsel . xxii ., 2 nd parag . t Leonidas , of Tarentum . Brunck ' s Anakcta , &c . [ 1776 ] , I . 247 , No . 99 .
residence , nor extends her -views and wishes further . The elegant translator has scarcely caught all the spirit of the original : JZ&trjv u $ Kiboq , vc . t . X . — " Let the sepulchre be my home V And , again ,
itevOeoc ; biy )<; IvjTYjp , % G 0 Y )<; £ K [ A £ KOf / , HTCTafAEVO <; . ' * Be thou , my son , the healer of my grief , by bearing me away to thee * from life /' The first line of Bishop Lowth ' s epitaph , simplv enumerates the
personal qualities of the subject of it , and intimates that she was tenderly beloved : yet her affinity to him is not here disclosed . Nothing can be more skilful and judicious than this silence ,
as it prepares us for the thought introduced in the following line , for the declaration that , dear to her parent by the ties of nature , she was far dearer by her accomplishments and virtues . With the same accuracy of judgment , the writer does not mention her name
until the third line : and we readily conceive that his grief becomes more poignant as he proceeds from the description of her intellectual , religious and moral character , and of her filial relation , to the epithet by which he
was accustomed cordially and familiarly to address her . The recurrence of the words cara—vale , within so short a compass , is exquisitely beautiful and touching : it calls to our recollection Virgil ' s
— longum formose vale , vale , mquit , Iola , but is unspeakably more solemn . As parental anguish characterizes the former part of the epitaph , the remaining and more considerable portion of it is sacred to holy anticipation : " That strain 1 heard was of a higher
mood ; " at vemet felicins cevum , &c . The effect produced in the two coi > - cluding lines , by the repetition of those tender and most emphatic words cara , redi—cara > Maria , redi , will be instantly acknowledged by every man of genuine sensibility and taste . It can hardly be imagined that a
* Kuster , de vero usu Velb . Med . Sect . I . No . 54 , &c . So , in Matt . x . 1 , UpocrK < xXecrcx . fA . evot ; Taq dco ^ £ K 6 c having called to him , &c .
Essay on Bishop Lowtk ' s Epitaph on hi » JEldest Daughter . 339
Monthly Repository (1806-1838) and Unitarian Chronicle (1832-1833), June 2, 1821, page 339, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/mruc/issues/vm2-ncseproduct2501/page/15/