Page:Father's memoirs of his child.djvu/55

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.

xli

to pass the line prescribed by criticism to the career of imagination.

But I have been leading you beside our subject, into a labyrinth of poetical comment, with as little method or ceremony, as if we were to have no witness of our correspondence. It is time we should return from the masquing regions of poetry, to the business with which we set out. Donne, in his Anatomy of the World, remarks the Egyptians to have acted wisely, in bestowing more cost upon their tombs than on their houses. This example he adduces, to justify his own Funeral Elegies: and I may perhaps be allowed to adopt it, as an additional plea, should my former be of no avail, for coming forward with this piece of almost infantine biography. If it be a custom, handed down from high antiquity, to enshrine the breathless clay of honourable men in brass or marble;—if poetry and the arts jointly present their offerings at the obsequies of princes, patriots, or heroes, why may not the frailty of our