Ephelia

England

An Elegy On The Right Reverend Gilbert Sheldon, (1) Lord Archbishop Of Canterbury.

When I heard
Sheldon
had to Fate resigned,
A sudden Consternation seized my Mind,
Senseless I stood, the dangerous Surprise
Kept back the Pious Tribute of my Eyes:
And though no words can e'er my Grief express,
Yet by their own, all may judge its Excess:
For when so good, so great a Prelate falls,
The World must Celebrate his Funerals:
And not a man in the vast Universe,
But sends a Bleeding Heart t'attend his Hearse:
To tell his Virtues would whole Volumes ask,
And were a
Seraph's
,(2) not a Woman's task.
Over his Flock, so tenderly Austere,
He taught them both at once, to Love and Fear;
So strictly Pious, that to all that knew
His holy life, his Precepts needless grew.
Despised Religion did so Beauteous seem
In this blessed Saint, it raised its first Esteem:
His head, a Receptacle did contain
More Learning than the world can boast again.
He made his Wealth and large Possessions be,
But humble Handmaids to his Charity;
Which was so great, it might be truly said,
That by his Death the Poor were Orphans made:
When ugly Treason flourished highest, he
'Spite of the danger, owned his Loyalty.
With joy he suffered for the Church and State,
And bore with ease the weightiest strokes of Fate.
Stop! stop a while! fierce Rapture chokes my words,
And no expression to my Thoughts affords:
I am all admiration! and as well
Some heavenly Vision, as his Worth might tell.
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