chapter  39
4 Pages

Courtney Melmoth writing about Goldsmith’s greatness on the day of his funeral, 9 April 1774, The Tears of Genius, Occasioned by the Death of Dr. Goldsmith, April 1774

THE village-bell tolls out the note of death, And thro' the echoing air, the length'ning sound, With dreadful pause, reverberating deep; Spreads the sad tydings, o'er fair Auburn's vale. There, to enjoy the scenes her bard had prais' d In all the sweet simplicity of song, GENIUS, in pilgrim garb, sequester'd sat, And herded jocund with the harmless swains: But when she heard the fate-foreboding knell, With startled step, precipitate and swift, And look pathetic, full of dire presage, The church-way walk, beside the neighb'ring green, Sorrowing she sought; and there, in black array, Borne on the shoulders of the swains he lov' d, She saw the boast of Auburn mov' d along. Touch' d at the view, her pensive breast she struck, And to the cypress, which incumbent hangs With leaning slope, and branch irregular, 0' er the moss' d pillars of the sacred fane, The briar-bound graves shadowing with funeral gloom, Forlorn she hied; And there the crowding woe (Swell' d by the parent) press' d on bleeding thought. Big ran the drops from her maternal eye, Fast broke the bosom-sorrow from her heart, And pale Distress, sat sickly on her cheek, As thus her plaintive Elegy began.