The myrtle (ensign of supreme command,
Consign'd by Venus to Melissa's hand)
Not less capricious than a reigning fair,
Oft favours, oft rejects, a lover's pray'r.
In myrtle shades oft sings the happy swain,
In myrtle shades despairing ghosts complain.
The myrtle crowns the happy lovers' heads,
Th' unhappy lovers' graves the myrtle spreads.
Oh! then, the meaning of thy gift impart,
And ease the throbbings of an anxious heart.
Soon must this bough, as you shall fix its doom,
Adorn Philander's head, or grace his tomb.



AT length, must Suffolk beauties shine in vain,
So long renown'd in B-n's deathless strain?
Thy charms, at least, fair Firebrace, might inspire
Some zealous bard to wake the sleeping lyre;
For, such thy beauteous mind and lovely face,
Thou seem'st at once, bright nymph, a muse and grace.



YE nymphs, whom starry rays invest,

By flatt'ring poets given;
Who shine, by lavish lovers drest,

In all the pomp of heaven;

This lady was Bridget, third daughter of Philip Bacon, esq. of Ipswich, and relict of Philip Evers, esq. of that town. She became the second wife of sir Cordell Firebrace, the last baronet of that name, to whom she brought a fortune of £25,000, July 26, 1737. Being again left a widow, in 1759, she was a third time married, April 7, 1762, to William Campbell, esq. uncle to the late duke of Argyle, and died July 3, 1782.

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Engross not all the beams on high,

Which gild a lover's lays;
But, as your sister of the sky,
Let Lyce share the praise.

Her silver locks display the moon,
Her brows a cloudy show,

Strip'd rainbows round her eyes are seen,
And show'rs from either flow.

Her teeth the night with darkness dies,
She's starr'd with pimples o'er;
Her tongue, like nimble lightning, plies,
And can with thunder roar.

But some Zelinda, while I sing,
Denies my Lyce shines;
And all the pens of Cupid's wing
Attack my gentle lines.

Yet, spite of fair Zelinda's eye,
And all her bards express,
My Lyce makes as good a sky,
And I but flatter less.




CONDEMN'D to hope's delusive mine,
As on we toil, from day to day,
By sudden blasts, or slow decline,

Our social comforts drop away.

These stanzas, to adopt the words of Dr. Drake, "are warm from the heart; and this is the only poem, from the pen of Johnson, that has been bathed with tears." Levet was Johnson's constant and attentive companion, for near forty years; he was a practitioner in physic, among the lower class of people,

Well try'd, through many a varying year,
See Levet to the grave descend,
Officious, innocent, sincere,

Of ev'ry friendless name the friend.

Yet still he fills affection's eye,
Obscurely wise, and coarsely kind;
Nor, letter'd arrogance, deny
Thy praise to merit unrefined.

When fainting nature call'd for aid,
And hov'ring death prepar'd the blow,

His vig'rous remedy display'd

The pow'r of art, without the show.

In mis'ry's darkest cavern known,
His useful care was ever nigh,
Where hopeless anguish pour'd his groan,
And lonely want retir'd to die.

No summons, mock'd by chill delay,
No petty gain, disdain'd by pride;
The modest wants of ev'ry day

The toil of ev'ry day supply'd.

His virtues walk'd their narrow round,
Nor made a pause, nor left a void;
And sure the eternal master found
The single talent well-employ'd.

The busy day--the peaceful night,
Unfelt, uncounted, glided by;

His frame was firm-his pow'rs were bright,
Though now his eightieth year was nigh.

in London. Humanity, rather than desire of gain, seems to have actuated this single hearted and amiable being; and never were the virtues of charity recorded in more touching strains. "I am acquainted," says Dr. Drake, "with nothing superior to them in the productions of the moral muse." See Drake's Literary Life of Johnson; and Boswell, i. ii. iii. iv.—ED.

Then, with no fiery throbbing pain,
No cold gradations of decay,
Death broke, at once, the vital chain,
And freed his soul the nearest way.



PHILLIPS! whose touch harmonious could remove
The pangs of guilty pow'r, and hapless love,
Rest here, distress'd by poverty no more,
Find here that calm thou gav'st so oft before;
Sleep, undisturb'd, within this peaceful shrine,
Till angels wake thee, with a note like thine.




Honorabilis admodum THOMAS HANMER,


These lines are among Mrs. Williams's Miscellanies: they are, nevertheless, recognised as Johnson's, in a memorandum of his handwriting, and were probably written at her request. This Phillips was a fiddler, who travelled up and down Wales, and was much celebrated for his skill. The above epitaph, according to Mr. Boswell, won the applause of lord Kames, prejudiced against Johnson as he was. It was published in Mrs. Williams's Miscellanies, and was, at first, ascribed to Garrick, from its appearing with the signature G.— Garrick, however, related, that they were composed, almost impromptu, by Johnson, on hearing some lines on the subject, by Dr. Wilkes, which he disapproved. See Boswell, i. 126, where is, likewise, preserved an epigram, by Johnson, on Colley Cibber and George the second, whose illiberal treatment of artists and learned men was a constant theme of his execration. As it has not yet been inserted among Johnson's works, we will present it to the readers of the present edition, in this note.

Augustus still survives in Maro's strain,
And Spenser's verse prolongs Eliza's reign;
Great George's acts let tuneful Cibber sing;
For nature formed the poet for the king.

At Hanmer church, in Flintshire.


Wilhelmi Hanmer armigeri, e Peregrina Henrici


De Mildenhall, in Com. Suffolciæ, baronetti sorore

et hærede,

Johannis Hanmer de Hanmer baronetti
Hæres patruelis

Antiquo gentis suæ et titulo et patrimonio successit.
Duas uxores sortitus est;

Alteram Isabellam, honore a patre derivato, de
Arlington comitissam,

Deinde celsissimi principis, ducis de Grafton, viduam dotariam:

Alteram Elizabetham, Thomæ Foulkes de Barton, in Com. Suff. armigeri

Filiam et hæredem.

Inter humanitatis studia feliciter enutritus, Omnes liberalium artium disciplinas avide arripuit, Quas morum suavitate haud leviter ornavit. Postquam excessit ex ephebis,

Continuo inter populares suos fama eminens, Et comitatus sui legatus ad parliamentum missus, Ad ardua regni negotia, per annos prope triginta, se accinxit:

Cumque, apud illos amplissimorum virorum ordines,
Solent nihil temere effutire,

Sed probe perpensa diserte expromere,
Orator gravis et pressus,

Non minus integritatis quam eloquentiæ laude

Æque omnium, utcunque inter se alioqui dissidentium,
Aures atque animos attraxit.

Annoque demum M.DCC.XIII. regnante Anna,
Felicissimæ florentissimæque memoriæ regina,
Ad prolocutoris cathedram,

Communi senatus universi voce, designatus est:
Quod munus,

Cum nullo tempore non difficile,

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