James Beattie (25 October 1735 – 18 August 1803 / Laurencekirk in the Mearns, Scotland)
Epitaph, Intended For Himself
Escaped the gloom of mortal life, a soul
Here leaves its mouldering 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;
Like thee, have languish'd after empty joys;
Like thee, have labour'd in the stormy strife;
Been grieved for trifles, and amused with toys.
Yet, for a while, 'gainst Passion's threatful blast
Let steady Reason urge the struggling oar;
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 mayst fall;
Nor read, unmoved, my artless tender tale,
I was a friend, O man! to thee, to all.
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