Verse > Anthologies > William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. > The Book of Georgian Verse
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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed.  The Book of Georgian Verse.  1909.
 
Epitaph, Intended for Himself
By James Beattie (1735–1803)
 
ESCAPED the gloom of mortal life, a soul
  Here leaves its moulding tenement of clay,
Safe, where no cares their whelming billows roll,
  No doubts bewilder, and no hopes betray.
 
Like thee, I once have stemm’d the sea of life;        5
  Like thee, have languish’d after empty joys;
Like thee, have labour’d in the stormy strife;
  Been griev’d for trifles, and amus’d with toys.
 
Yet, for a while, ’gainst Passion’s threatful blast
  Let steady Reason urge the struggling oar;        10
Shot through the dreary gloom, the morn at last
  Gives to thy longing eye the blissful shore.
 
Forget my frailties; thou art also frail;
  Forgive my lapses, for thyself may’st fall;
Nor read, unmov’d, my artless tender tale;        15
  I was a friend, O man, to thee, to all.
 
 
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