Littell's Living Age/Volume 144/Issue 1857/Epitaph for the Rev. Dr. Buckland

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Littell's Living Age translated by Frederick Mant
Volume 144, Issue 1857 : Epitaph for the Rev. Dr. Buckland by Dr. Shuttleworth

Originally published in Notes and Queries. Written in Latin by Dr. Shuttleworth, Bishop of Chichester, about the year 1820.

Mourn, Ammonites, mourn o'er his funeral urn
      Whose neck ye must grace no more;
Gneiss, Granite, and Slate! he settled your date,
      And his ye must now deplore.

Weep, Caverns, weep! with infiltering drip,
      Your recesses he'll cease to explore;
For mineral veins and organic remains
      No Stratum again will he bore.

Oh! his Wit shone like Crystal! his knowledge profound
      From Gravel to Granite descended;
No Trap could deceive him, no Slip could confound,
      Nor specimen true or pretended.
He knew the birth-rock of each pebble so round
      And how far its tour had extended.

His eloquence roll'd like the Deluge retiring
      Which Mastodon carcases floated;
To a subject obscure he gave charms so inspiring
      Young and Old on Geology doated.
He stood forth like an Outlier; his hearers admiring
      In pencil each anecdote noted.

Where shall we our great Professor inter,
      That in peace may rest his bones?
If we hew him a rocky sepulchre
      He'll rise and break the stones,
And examine each Stratum that lies around,
For he's quite in his element under ground.

If with Mattock and Spade his body we lay
      In the common alluvial soil,
He'll start up and snatch those tools away
      Of his own Geological toil.
In a Stratum so young the Professor disdains
That embedded should be his Organic Remains.

Then exposd to the drip of some case-hard'ning spring,
      His carcase let Stalactite cover,
And to Oxford the petrified sage let us bring,
      When he is incrusted all over;
There 'mid Mammoths and Crocodiles, high on a Shelf,
Let him stand as a Monument raised to himself.