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The Epitaph, which is inscribed on an elegant Sarcophagus, in the Cathedral Church of Lichfield, will still further display the worth and utility of her character.
J. G. died Oct. 30, 1791,
Aged 81. Sacred to the memory of Jane, Daughter of Sir Thomas Aston, of Aston,
Baronet, And Widow of the reverend Francis Gastrell,
Clerk, Who, to the last moment of her life, Was constantly employed in acts of secret
and extensive charity,
This monument is erected
Of her Bounty.
Let not thine alms, the holy Jesus cried,
So shall the Lord, whose eye pervades the
breast, For thee unfold the mansions of the bless'd.
O’er Her, whose life this precept held
in view, A friend to Want when each false friend
Sweet as, at noontide's sultry beam,
bloom, Shall live thro' time, and glow beyond the
Thro' thee, the Orphan owns parental
Bends the glad knee, and breathes the fre
Thro' thee, the Debtor, from despondence fled,
O thou! who ling’ring here shalt heave
Thou shalt not all die.
HERRICK upon himself, page 165.
It is only within a short period, that due attention has been paid to the minor poets of the seventeenth century; round the names of Shakspeare, Jonson, Cowley, Milton, Waller, Denham and Dryden, a lustre so brilliant had been diffused, that the reputation of numerous poets of the same age was nearly lost in their splendour. In the course of the last thirty years, however, a spirit of literary research, and a warm partiality for the whole body of our elder poetry, have been strongly awakened; the works of Davies and of Hall, of Phineas and Giles Fletcher, of Browne and Carew, of Suckling and Marvel, have been republished; various and well-selected extracts, from a multitude of authors contemporary with these, have likewise made their appearance in the Collections of Percy, of Headley, and of Ellis; and Anderson, in his edition of the British Poets, has, with great propriety, introduced many a neglected though highly poetic writer of this period.
Notwithstanding these exertions, however, there still remain involved in partial obscurity some votaries of the Muse, who deserve a better fate. I would particularly mention, as entitled to rank foremost in the list, the names of George Wither, James Shirley, and ROBERT HERRICK. Of the two former, some beautiful portions have been given to the world, by Percy, Gilchrist* and Ellis, yet much is left highly worthy of preservation. Wither was a most versatile and vo. luminous writer, extremely unequal, and, for the most part, very coarse and colloquial in his language, yet are there dispersed, through his bulky tomes, and especially through his Juvenilia, f many passages admi
* Vide Gentleman's Magazine, vol. lxx. page 1149.
+ Juvenilia, a collection of those poems which were heretofore imprinted and written by George Wither. London, printed for Robert Allott, in Paul's Churchyard, at the signe of the Grey-hound, 1626.