Epitaph Designed for
William Franklin, Esq.
Late Governor of New Jersey
Ob. Nov. 16, aged 82.
Franklin, a name to glorious science dear,
Lives in the softer light of honour here:
The sire from heav’n its angry lightnings won,
But heav’n’s benignest breath inspired the son:
In justice awful, yet in friendship bland,
Truth rul’d his speech, and Charity his hand;
His smile enrich’d the ready boon he gave,
And taught the hope affliction dar’d not crave.
With keenest flashes, Wisdom’s lambent light
Grac’d his long day, and ting’d its ev’ning bright:
Calm thro’ the gates of death his spirit past,
As sun-beams vanish—loveliest in the last.
Youth! if thy melting eyes this urn bedew,
To loyal Faith, to social Virtue true,
Like him, Ambition’s golden bribe disdain,
Unboasted Honour’s silent meed to gain;
Like him, to manhood’s noblest joys ascend,
A sage, a patriot, husband, father, friend!
Then proudly visit this decaying shrine,—
His soul has found a monument in thine:
Go!—may as cloudless fame thy days illume,
And tears as precious sanctify thy tomb!
Nov. 19, 1813