Samuel Johnson

(1709 - 1784 / Lichfield / England)

On The Death Of Stephen Grey, F.R.S. - Poem by Samuel Johnson

The Electrician

Long hast thou borne the burden of the day,
Thy task is ended, venerable Grey!
No more shall art thy dexterous hand require,
To break the sleep of elemental fire:
To rouse the powers that actuate Nature's frame,
The momentaneous shock, th' electric flame;
The flame, which at first, weak pupil of thy lore,
I saw, condemn'd, alas! to see no more.
Now, hoary sage, pursue thy happy flight
With swifter motion, haste to purer light.
Where Bacon waits with Newton and with Boyle,
To hail thy genius and applaud thy toil,
Where intuition breathes through time and space,
And mocks experiment's successive race;
See tardy science toil at Nature's laws,
And wonders how th' effect obscures the cause.
Yet not to deep research or happy guess
Is view'd the life of hope, the death of peace;
Unbless'd the man, whom philosophic rage
Shall tempt to lose the Christian in the sage;
Not art but goodness pour'd the sacred ray
That cheer'd the parting hours of humble Grey.

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, April 7, 2010

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