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The Marquess Wellesley
by [?]

‘Blanda anima, e cunis heu! longo exercita morbo,
Inter maternas heu lachrymasque patris,
Quas risu lenire tuo jucunda solebas,
Et levis, et proprii vix memor ipsa mali;
I, pete calestes, ubi nulla est cura, recessus:
Et tibi sit nullo mista dolore quies!’

The English version is this:

‘Doom’d to long suffering from earliest years,
Amidst your parents’ grief and pain alone
Cheerful and gay, you smiled to soothe their tears;
And in their agonies forgot your own.
Go, gentle spirit; and among the blest
From grief and pain eternal be thy rest!’

In the Latin, the phrase e cunis does not express from your cradle upwards. The second line is faulty in the opposition of maternas to patris. And in the fourth line levis conveys a false meaning: levis must mean either physically light, i.e. not heavy, which is not the sense, or else tainted with levity, which is still less the sense. What Lord Wellesley wished to say–was light-hearted: this he has not said: but neither is it easy to say it in good Latin.

I complain, however, of the whole as not bringing out Lord Wellesley’s own feeling–which feeling is partly expressed in his verses, and partly in his accompanying prose note on Miss Brougham’s mournful destiny (‘her life was a continual illness’) contrasted with her fortitude, her innocent gaiety, and the pious motives with which she supported this gaiety to the last. Not as a direct version, but as filling up the outline of Lord Wellesley, sufficiently indicated by himself, I propose this:–

‘Child, that for thirteen years hast fought with pain,
Prompted by joy and depth of natural love,–
Rest now at God’s command: oh! not in vain
His angel ofttimes watch’d thee,–oft, above
All pangs, that else had dimm’d thy parents’ eyes,
Saw thy young heart victoriously rise.
Rise now for ever, self-forgetting child,
Rise to those choirs, where love like thine is blest,
From pains of flesh–from filial tears assoil’d,
Love which God’s hand shall crown with God’s own rest.’


[1] Memoirs and Correspondence.

[2] ‘As a dissyllable:’–just as the Annesley family, of which Lord Valentia is the present head, do not pronounce their name trisyllabically (as strangers often suppose), but as the two syllables Anns lea, accent on the first.

[3] Which adopted neither view; for by offering the regency of Ireland to the Prince of Wales, they negatived Mr. Fox’s view, who held it to be the Prince’s by inherent right; and, on the other hand, they still more openly opposed Mr. Pitt.