Benjamin Colman

An Elegy On the Death of Thomas Bordley, Esq;

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In Magna Obijt Britania Undecimo die Octobris:

Awake, my Soul, from abject Thoughts retire,
Invoke the sacred Nine to tune thy Lyre,
In Elogric Strains touch ev'ry String,
And Bordley's Death and happy Requiem sing:
But ah! in vain my Muse attempts to fly,
Her fluttering Genius cannot soar so high,
In vain it is his Actions to rehearse,
Whose Merit dwells beyond the reach of Verse,
Envy may smile at the unwelcome News
With false alarms, this infant World amuse,
Rejoice to hear the unpropitious Fate,
Did on the issue of his Progress wait:
But Bordley's Name, immortal as his Soul,
Will never Die, whilst Sol does Time controul.
Mourn Senators, your heads with Cyprus crown,
And let the Bar with Sable Weeds hang down,
The leading Member in your House is Dead,
To Heaven's Imperial Court for Justice fled,
There Truth and Equity in Judgment set,
And the eternal Law, which God thought fit,
To govern that unruly brittle Span,
Will final Sentence pass on wretched Man.
But stay my Muse, no Party Discords here,
Let nothing but unfeigned Grief appear.
What if Mechanic Souls laugh in their sleeve,
True cordial Friends will at his Exit grieve,
O'er Bordley's Monument shed floods of Tears,
A Scheme contriv'd for long revolving Years,
To make us happy, could we but agree,
In Peace to live from civil Faction free.
But Bordley's gone, resign'd at last his Breath,
Snatcht from his Bosom-friend by hasty Death,
To whom kind Providence, to bless his Life,
Gave him the sweetest, most obliging Wife,
Whole Sorrow at this lad Castrophie,
May learn to weep like wretched Niobe,
But never grapple with the Enemy;
No Quirk in Law the Writ can e'er abate,
Sign'd by the hand of unrelenting Fate,
It is a Debt to Nature all must pay,
Nor can we long put off the evil Day;
No W[illeg.] of Error in this case will he,
When Death approaches Monarchs must comply
We came from Dust, and to demurr is vain,
Since unto Dust we must Return again:
Then cease vain Tears Madam forbear to weep
Bordley's not Dead, tho'in his Tomb he sleep,
In Peace retir'd from inveterate Strife,
In hopes to rise unto Eternal Life.

EPITAPH
Here Bordley lyes, the brightest Sage,
With Lawyer ever did engage,
In Maryland,--to Clients true,
And to the Publick but rest too;
Then Reader, or Death laid his Head,
Rake not the Ashes of the Dead.

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Benjamin Colman