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PREFACE.

HAVING always derived a particular pleasure from a walk among the tombs, I became in early life a collector of Epitaphs. A recent tour through GREAT BRITAIN, and the ISLE of MAN, enabled me to enlarge the collection, by the insertion of several inscriptions of great merit, that convey fine moral thoughts in the style and spirit of genuine poetry; many of them were never before published, and are correctly copied from the monuments on which they are inscribed a few are taken from the works of our most popular Poets, which certainly do no discredit to the authors whose names they bear.

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If some pieces of inferior merit, as far as regards poetic composition, have been admitted into the collection, they are, at least, entitled to the praise of being moral and instructive, however they may offend the ear, or the taste, by the inharmony of their numbers, or the coarseness of their diction. They ex

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PREFACE.

press sentiments that are calculated to make a useful impression on the heart, and dispose the mind to ponder on the brevity of life, on the imperfections and unsatisfactory nature of our enjoyments, and on the instability of all earthly possessions. They tell us, that

Though we wade in wealth or soar in fame, Earth's highest station ends in-Here he lies !"

As I have endeavoured to make it a useful and in-` structive collection, I am not without hopes that its general merit, is such as, will secure it a favourable reception from the public, and dispose the reader to consider the time usefully spent in its perusal.

Hall-Side, Kirklinton,

August 1, 1821. S

Epitaphs, &c.

WESTMINSTER ABBEY.

ON WILLIAM SHAKSPEARE.

THE cloud capp'd towers, the gorgeous palaces, The solemn temples, the great globe itself, Yea, and all which it inherits, shall dissolve, And like the baseless fabric of a vision

Leave not a wreck behind.

JAMES THOMSON,

Ætatis 48, obit 27, August, 1748.

Tutor❜d by thee, sweet poetry, exalts her voice to Ages, and informs the page, with music, image, Sentiment, and thought, never to die!

This Monument was erected in 1762.

B

JOHN SHEFFIELD, DUKE OF BUCKINGHAM,

Died Feb. 24, 1720, in the 74th h year of his age.

I liv'd doubtful, not dissolute,
I die unresolv'd, not unresign'd.

Ignorance and error are incident to human nature.
I trust in an Almighty and all good God.
O! thou Being of Beings, have compassion on me.
For my king often, for my country forever.

TO THE MEMORY OF

NICHOLAS ROWE, Esq.

Who died in 1718, aged 45;

And of Charlotte, his only Daughter, wife of Henry Fane, Esq. who inherited her father's spirit, and amiable in her own innocence and beauty, died in the 23d year of her age, 1739.

Thy reliques Rowe! to this sad shrine we trust,
And near thy Shakspeare place thy honor'd bust.
Oh! next him skill'd to draw the tender tear,
For never heart felt passion more sincere;
To nobler sentiments to fire the brave,
For never Briton more disdain'd a slave.
Peace to thy gentle shade and endless rest,
Blest in thy genius, in thy love too blest!
And blest, that timely from our scene remov'd
Thy soul enjoys that liberty it lov'd!

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