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On the Death of Mr Robert Levett, a Practiser in Physic

1 Condemned to Hope's delusive mine, As on we toil from day to day, By sudden blasts, or slow decline, Our social comforts drop away.

2 Well tried through many a varying year, See Levett to the grave descend; Officious, innocent, sincere, Of every friendless name the friend.

3 Yet still he fills Affection's eye, Obscurely wise and coarsely kind; Nor, letter'd Arrogance, deny Thy praise to merit unrefined.

4 When fainting Nature call'd for aid, And hovering Death prepared the blow, His vigorous remedy display'd The power of Art without the show.

5 In Misery's darkest cavern known, His useful care was ever nigh; Where hopeless Anguish pour'd his groan, And lonely Want retired to die.

6 No summons, mock'd by chill delay; No petty gain, disdain'd by pride; The modest wants of every day, The toil of every day supplied.

7 His virtues walk'd their narrow round, Nor made a pause, nor left a void; And sure the Eternal Master found The single talent well employ'd,

8 The busy day--the peaceful night, Unfelt, unclouded, glided by; His frame was firm--his powers were bright, Though now his eightieth year was nigh.

9 Then with no fiery, throbbing pain, No cold gradations of decay, Death broke at once the vital chain, And freed his soul the nearest way.

Samuel Johnson





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