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On The Death Of Mr. Robert Levet, A Practiser In Physic
(1709 - 1784 / Lichfield / England)

On The Death Of Mr. Robert Levet, A Practiser In Physic

Poem By Samuel Johnson

CONDEMN'D to Hope's delusive mine,
As on we toil from day to day,
By sudden blasts or slow decline
Our social comforts drop away.

Well tried through many a varying year,
See Levet to the grave descend,
Officious, innocent, sincere,
Of every friendless name the friend.

Yet still he fills affection's eye,
Obscurely wise and coarsely kind;
Nor, letter'd Arrogance, deny
Thy praise to merit unrefined.

When fainting nature call'd for aid,
And hov'ring death prepared the blow,
His vig'rous remedy display'd
The power of art without the show.

In Misery's darkest cavern known,
His useful care was ever nigh,
Where hopeless Anguish pour'd his groan,
And lonely Want retired to die.

No summons mock'd by chill delay,
No petty gain disdained by pride;
The modest wants of every day
The toil of every day supplied.

His virtues walk'd their narrow round,
Nor made a pause, nor left a void;
And sure th' Eternal Master found
The single talent well employ'd.

The busy day, the peaceful night,
Unfelt, uncounted, glided by;
His frame was firm--his powers were bright,
Though now his eightieth year was nigh.

Then with no fiery throbbing pain,
No cold gradations of decay,
Death broke at once the vital chain,
And freed his soul the nearest way.

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Comments (5)

loved and liked great poem
lovely poem heartfelt liked and loved
amazing poem it shows how he is feeling
Death broke at once the vital chain! Nice work.
the respect for the dead here in this poem, as well as the obvious care that was held in the heart of Johnson, is well addressed. Though Levet was not a real doctor, and was also an alcoholic with an abusive wife, he is seen through the eyes of a holy man as a saint of sorts.