The Word on the Street
home | background | illustrations | distribution | highlights | search & browse | resources | contact us

Broadside entitled 'An Elegy'


An ELEGY to the lasting Memory, and upon the much to be lamen-
ted Death of the pious, and well accomplished Gentleman, and much
honoured, William Nisbet of Dirletoun.                        

Obiit, 20. October 1724, Ętatis 60._________

THERE is no Truth more evident to Sense,            

Nor to infallible Experience ;
Than this; That all Living Shortly must
Be Food to Worms, dissolved into Dust:
From whence they came, the Lectures daily read,
By Thousands dying, and Ten thousands dead.
Tho' of the Theory no Man may doubt,
The serious Practice, all our Life's left out.

But for Example, Great DIRLETOVN was so wise,

With Circumspection he improv'd his Days.

Whom most the Rays of famous Charity crown'd,

Who brightly shin'd, and for Piety renown'd.

Famous brave NISBET, our Lairds President,

Who for his CHRIST, and for his Cross, him spent.

Who for his Charity, so renown'd his Name,

And for his Death, his Objects mourn the same.

When I his Vertues hear, and Acts so great,

Which him so high among the Saints have set :

And here below, so lasting Glory wan,

His Zeal Loyalty, proclaims him a just Man.

D I R L E T O V N the Great, as plainly doth appear,

By antient Writings, above Five hundred Year.

So an Herald may, unblushing, say aloud,

He's come of ancient, honourable Blood.

And so upright in Virtues Track to tred,

That Heav'n in Earth, a heavenly Life he led.

For never was a more accomplish'd Laird,

Whose tender Heart with Piety was fed.

Mild and Propitious in his Heart connext,

First Fear of GOD, and Love of Justice next.

Vertues whose Habit, Happiness doth nourish,

Made his Tenents flow, and his Country flowrish.

Describe him as he was, I may and justly can,

A sober, righteous, and religious Man,

Guided his Family, govern'd his Affairs,

Faithful in his Counsels, qualified all Cares.

Steer'd all his Course through his Voyage here,

As Men their Ships by Cart, and Compass steer.

His Speech modest, just, fed from above,

His Actions equal, and his Heart all Love.

Unspotted was his Walk to those of high Degree,

And gain'd the meanest with his Courtisie.

His Fame seraphick in Devotions mount,                              

His Zeal constant, never waxing blunt.

Secret in Alms, for Piety a Lamp of Light,

In Business active, and a Laird most bright.

Then to conclude,   when such a Patriot dyes,

Charity,   and Piety bleeding lyes.

So cruel Death, his Praise still flourish shall,

Vertues survives the Body's Funeral.

For Emmanuel's Land he came ashore,

The Place to which he sent his Heart before,


HERE under lies, Dirletoun full of Grace,

A Laird most bright, for Goodness in his Face.
A Laird renoun'd, for secret Charity,                                             

A Pattern of Sobriety, Peace and Piety.                           

Reader, look it ne're be said of tbee or I,
I bat our Neglect, should cause our Light to dy.

previous pageprevious          
Date of publication: 1724   shelfmark: Ry.III.c.36(100)
Broadside entitled 'An Elegy'
View larger image

NLS home page   |   Digital gallery   |   Credits

National Library of Scotland © 2004

National Library of Scotland