Anna Laetitia Barbauld (20 June 1743 – 9 March 1825 / Leicestershire, England)
The Death of Virtuous
Sweet is the scene when Virtue dies!—
When sinks a righteous soul to rest,
How mildly beam the closing eyes,
How gently heaves the' expiring breast!
So fades a summer cloud away;
So sinks the gale when storms are o'er;
So gently shuts the eye of day;
So dies a wave along the shore.
Triumphant smiles the victor brow,
Fanned by some angel's purple wing;—
Where is, O Grave! thy victory now?
And where, insidious Death! thy sting?
Farewell, conflicting joys and fears,
Where light and shade alternate dwell;
How bright the' unchanging morn appears!
Farewell, inconstant world, Farewell!
Its duty done,—as sinks the clay,
Light from its load the spirit flies;
While heaven and earth combine to say,
“Sweet is the scene when Virtue dies!”
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