Biographia Hibernica/Joseph Atkinson
WAS a man who fully merited the epithet "worthy;" and truly sorry are we to inform our readers, that, with almost every particular of his life, we are wholly unacquainted.
He was a native of Ireland, and was treasurer of the Ordnance, under the administration of the Earl of Moira. He was the intimate of Moore, Curran, and the rest of the galaxy of Irish genius; and was, himself, a poet of more than ordinary ability, as the following jeu d'esprit, addressed to his friend Moore, on the birth of his third daughter, will evince:—
I'm sorry, dear Moore, there's a damp to your joy,
Nor think my old strain of mythology stupid,
When I say, that your wife had a right to a boy,
For Venus is nothing without a young Cupid.
But since Fate, the boon that you wish'd for, refuses,
By granting three girls to your happy embraces,
She but meant, while you wander'd abroad with the Muses,
Your wife should be circled at home by the Graces!
He died in Dublin, at the age of 75, in October 1818, and was sincerely regretted by all who knew him; being admired by the young for his conviviality, and respected by the aged for his benevolence and numerous good qualities.
The following beautiful lines, from the pen of his intimate, Moore, are intended to be engraved on his sepulchre:—
If ever lot was prosperously cast,
If ever life was like the lengthen'd flow
Of some sweet music, sweetness to the last,
'Twas his, who, mourn'd by many, sleeps below.
The sunny temper, bright where all is strife,
The simple heart that mocks at worldly wiles,
Light wit, that plays along the calm of life,
And stirs its languid surface into smiles.
Pure Charity that comes not in a shower,
Sudden and loud, oppressing what it feeds;
But, like the dew, with gradual silent power,
Felt in the bloom it leaves along the meads.
The happy grateful spirit that improves,
And brightens every gift by Fortune given;
That wander where it will, with those it loves,
Makes every place a home, and home a heaven!
All these were his—Oh! thou who read'st this stone,
When for thyself, thy children, to the sky,
Thou humbly prayest, ask this boon alone,
That ye like him may live, like him may die.