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Be sure, as I work, to throw in contradictions;
A great lover of truth, yet a mind turn'd to fictions.
Now mix these ingredients, which, warm’d in the baking,
Turn to learning and gaming, religion and raking;
With the love of a wench, let his writings be chaste,
Tip his tongue with strange matter, his pen with fine taste.
That the rake and the poet o’er all may prevail,
Set fire to his head, and set fire to his tail:
For the joy of each sex on the world I'll bestow it,
This scholar, rake, christian, dupe, gamester, and poet.
Though a mixture so odd, he shall merit great fame,
And among brother mortals be Goldsmith his name.
When on earth this strange meteor no more shall appear,
You, Hermes, shall fetch him, to make us sport here.
A few years after his death a monument, by Nollikens, was erected in Westminster Abbey, by a collection made by his friends; and upon it is inscribed the following epitaph, written by Dr. Samuel Johnson.
POETÆ, PHYSICI, HISTORICI,
QUI NULLUM FERE SCRIBENDI GENUS
NULLUM QUOD TETIGIT NON ORNAVIT;
SIVE RISUS ESSENT MOVENDI,
AFFECTUUM POTENS AT LENIS DOMINATOR;
INGENIO SUBLIMIS, VIVIDUS, VERSATILIS;
ORATIONE GRANDIS, NITIDUS, VENUSTUS;
HOC MONUMENTO MEMORIAM COLUIT
NATUS HIBERNIA, FORNEIÆ LOXFORDIENSIS
IN LOCO CUI NOMEN PALLAS,
NOV. XXIX. MDCCXXXI.
EBLANÆ LITERIS INSTITUTUS
REMOTE, unfriended, melancholy, slow,
Or by the lazy Scheld, or wandering Po;
Or onward, where the rude Carinthian boor
Against the houseless stranger shuts the door ;
Or where Campania's plain forsaken lies,
A weary waste, expanding to the skies ;
Where-e'er I roam, whatever realms to see,
My heart, untravell’d, fondly turns to thee:
Still to my Brother turns, with ceaseless pain,
And drags at each remove a lengthening chain.
Eternal blessings crown my earliest friend,
And round his dwelling guardian saints attend;
Bless'd be that spot, where cheerful guests retire,
To pause from toil, and trim their evening fire;
Bless'd that abode, where want and pain repair,
And every stranger finds a ready chair;
Bless'd be those feasts, with simple plenty crown'd,
Where all the ruddy family around
Laugh at the jests, or pranks that never fail,
Or sigh with pity at some mournful tale,
Or press the bashful stranger to his food,
And learn the luxury of doing good.
But me, not destined such delights to share, My prime of life in wandering spent, and care; Impell’d, with steps unceasing, to pursue Some fleeting good, that mocks me with the view; That, like the circle bounding earth and skies, Allures from far, yet, as I follow, flies : My fortune leads to traverse realms, alone, And find no spot of all the world my own.
E’en now, where Alpine solitudes ascend, I sit me down a pensive hour to spend ;