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Epitaphium In Thomam Hanmer, Baronettum (and Paraphrase)
by [?]


Honorabilis admodum THOMAS HANMER,

Augustus still survives in Maro’s strain,
And Spenser’s verse prolongs Eliza’s reign;
Great George’s acts let tuneful Gibber sing;
For nature formed the poet for the king.

Wilhelmi Hanmer armigeri, e Peregrina Henrici
De Mildenhall, in Com. Suffolciae, baronetti sorore
et haerede,
Johannis Hanmer de Hanmer baronetti
Haeres patruelis
Antiquo gentis suae et titulo et patrimonio successit.
Duas uxores sortitus est;
Alteram Isabellam, honore a patre derivato, de
Arlington comitissam,
Deinde celsissimi principis, ducis de Grafton, viduam
Alteram Elizabetham, Thomae Foulkes de Barton, in
Com. Suff. armigeri
Filiam et haeredem.
Inter humanitatis studia feliciter enutritus,
Omnes liberalium artium disciplinas avide arripuit,
Quas morum suavitate baud leviter ornavit,
Postquam excessit ex ephebis,
Continuo inter populares suos fama eminens,
Et comitatus sui legatus ad parliamentum missus,
Ad ardua regni negotia, per annos prope triginta,
se accinxit:
Cumque, apud illos amplissimorum virorum ordines,
Solent nihil temere effutire,
Sed probe perpensa diserte expromere,
Orator gravis et pressus,
Non minus integritatis quam eloquentiae laude
Aeque omnium, utcunque inter se alioqui dissidentium,
Aures atque arrimos attraxit.
Annoque demum M.DCC.XIII. regnante Anna,
Felicissimae florentissimaeque memoriae regina,
Ad prolocutoris cathedram,
Communi senatus universi voce, designatus est:
Quod munus,
Cum nullo tempore non difficile,
Tum illo certe, negotiis
Et variis, et lubricis, et implicatis, difficillimum,
Cum dignitate sustinuit.
Honores alios, et omnia quae sibi in lucrum cederent
Sedulo detrectavit,
Ut rei totus inserviret publicae;
Justi rectique tenax,
Et fide in patriam incorrupta notus.
Ubi omnibus, quae virum civemque bonum decent,
officiis satisfecisset,
Paulatim se a publicis consiliis in otium recipiens,
Inter literarum amoenitates,
Inter ante-actae vitae baud insuaves recordationes,
Inter amicorum convictus et amplexus,
Honorifice consenuit;
Et bonis omnibus, quibus charissimus vixit,
Desideratissimus obiit.
Hie, juxta cineres avi, suos condi voluit, et curavit
Gulielmus Bunbury B’ttus, nepos et haeres.


Thou, who survey’st these walls with curious eye,
Pause at the tomb, where Hanmer’s ashes lie;
His various worth, through vary’d life, attend,
And learn his virtues, while thou mourn’st his end.
His force of genius burn’d, in early youth,
With thirst of knowledge, and with love of truth;
His learning, join’d with each endearing art,
Charm’d ev’ry ear, and gain’d on ev’ry heart.
Thus early wise, th’ endanger’d realm to aid,
His country call’d him from the studious shade;
In life’s first bloom his publick toils began,
At once commenc’d the senator and man.
In bus’ness dext’rous, weighty in debate,
Thrice ten long years he labour’d for the state;
In ev’ry speech persuasive wisdom flow’d,
In ev’ry act refulgent virtue glow’d:
Suspended faction ceas’d from rage and strife,
To hear his eloquence, and praise his life.
Resistless merit fix’d the senate’s choice,
Who hail’d him speaker, with united voice.
Illustrious age! how bright thy glories shone,
When Hanmer fill’d the chair–and Anne the throne!
Then, when dark arts obscur’d each fierce debate,
When mutual frauds perplex’d the maze of state,
The moderator firmly mild appear’d–
Beheld with love–with veneration heard.
This task perform’d–he sought no gainful post,
Nor wish’d to glitter, at his country’s cost:
Strict on the right he fix’d his steadfast eye,
With temp’rate zeal and wise anxiety;
Nor e’er from virtue’s paths was lur’d aside,
To pluck the flow’rs of pleasure, or of pride.
Her gifts despis’d, corruption blush’d, and fled,
And fame pursu’d him, where conviction led.
Age call’d, at length, his active mind to rest,
With honour sated, and with cares oppress’d;
To letter’d ease retir’d, and honest mirth,
To rural grandeur and domestick worth;
Delighted still to please mankind, or mend,
The patriot’s fire yet sparkled in the friend.
Calm conscience, then, his former life survey’d,
And recollected toils endear’d the shade,
Till nature call’d him to the gen’ral doom,
And virtue’s sorrow dignified his tomb.

[a] At Hanmer church, in Flintshire.

[b] This paraphrase is inserted in Mrs. Williams’s Miscellanies. The Latin is there said to be written by Dr. Freind. Of the person whose memory it celebrates, a copious account may be seen in the appendix to the supplement to the Biographia Britannica.