Take, holy earth, all that my soul holds dear

First Line Take, holy earth, all that my soul holds dear
Author William Mason

Epitaph [Death, afterlife; Courtship, marriage].

Transcribed from Mason, William. "On the Death of his Wife." Elegies. By C. Shaw, -. Pratt, R. Jago, Dr. Wolcot, A. L. Barbauld, G. Dyer, &c, 1798, p. 36. Eighteenth Century Collections Online, GALE|CW0118417106.



Take, holy earth, all that my soul holds dear;

Take that best gift which heav'n so lately gave:

To Bristol's fount I bore, with trembling care,

Her faded form; she bow'd to taste the wave,

And died. Does youth, does beauty read the line?

Does sympathetic fear their breast alarm?

Speak, dead Maria, breath a strain divine,

Ev'n from the grave thou shalt have pow'r to charm,

Bid them be chaste, be innocent, like thee;

Bid them in duty's sphere as meekly move;

And if so fair, from vanity so free,

So firm in friendship, and so fond in love;

Tell them, tho' 'tis an awful thing to die,

('Twas ev'n to thee) yet the dread path once trod,

Heav'n lifts its everlasting portals high,

And bids the pure in heart behold their God.