Johnson

On the Death of Mr. Robert Levet, a Practiser in Physic

Condemned to Hope’s delusive mine,
As on we toil from day to day,
By sudden blasts or slow decline
Our social comforts drop away. Well tried through many a varying year,
See Levet to the grave descend,
Officious, innocent, sincere,
Of every 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 called for aid,
And hov’ring death prepared the blow,
His vig’rous remedy displayed
The power of art without the show. In Misery’s darkest cavern known,
His useful care was ever nigh,
Where hopeless Anguish poured his groan,
And lonely Want retired to die. No summons mocked by chill delay,
No petty gain disdained by pride;
The modest wants of every day
The toil of every day supplied. His virtues walked their narrow round,
Nor made a pause, nor left a void;
And sure th’ Eternal Master found
The single talent well employed. The busy day, the peaceful night,
Unfelt, uncounted, glided by;
His frame was firm–his powers were bright,
Though now his eightieth year was nigh. 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. –Samuel Johnson