Thou camest with kind looks, when on the brink
Almost of death I strove, and with mild voice
Didst soothe me, bidding my poor heart rejoice,
Though smitten sore: Oh, I did little think
That thou, my friend, wouldst the first victim fall
To the stern King of Terrors! Thou didst fly,
By pity prompted, at the poor man's cry;
And soon thyself were stretched beneath the pall,
Livid infection's prey. The deep distress
Of her, who best thy inmost bosom knew,
To whom thy faith was vowed; thy soul was true,
What powers of faltering language shall express?
As friendship bids, I feebly breathe my own,
And sorrowing say, Pure spirit, thou art gone!

More verses by William Lisle Bowles