Epitaph on the Lady Sedley

by Edmund Waller

Here lies the learned Savil's heir,
So early wise, and lasting fair,
That none, except her years they told,
Thought her a child, or thought her old.
All that her father knew or got,
His art, his wealth, fell to her lot;
And she so well improved that stock,
Both of his knowledge and his flock,
That wit and fortune, reconciled
In her, upon each other smiled.
While she to every well-taught mind
Was so propitiously inclined,
And gave such title to her store,
That none, but th'ignorant, were poor.
The Muses daily found supplies,
Both from her hands and from her eyes.
Her bounty did at once engage,
And matchless beauty warm their rage.
Such was this dame in calmer days,
Her nation's ornament and praise!
But when a storm disturb'd our rest,
The port and refuge of the oppress'd.
This made her fortune understood,
And look'd on as some public good.
So that (her person and her state,
Exempted from the common fate)
In all our civil fury she
Stood, like a sacred temple, free.
May here her monument stand so,
To credit this rude age! and show
To future times, that even we
Some patterns did of virtue see;
And one sublime example had
Of good, among so many bad.

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