A Yew-Tree Clipped by Piozzi
— There is, in the south of Ireland, a city—although it has but a few hundred inhabitants — chiefly famous as the residence of the Bishops of Cloyne, and most chiefly of that bishop to whom Pope attributed, or caused others to attribute, “ every virtue under heaven,” — the philosopher, George Berkeley. The writer made a pilgrimage thither upon a summer’s day, and saw the ivy-grown round tower, the myrtles planted by the bishop himself, — each one with a ball of tar at its root, it is said, — and the fine old cathedral church dedicated to S. Colman. Here some of the Berkeleys rest; and although the bishop is buried at Christ Church, Oxford, an altar-tomb, with a recumbent effigy of the prelate, is about to be placed here.
In walking about the church with my host, the chief dignitary of the cathedral, under whose genial guidance all sorts of interesting things were pointed out to me, we came to a tablet with this inscription : —
FROM THIS VAULT SHALL, AT THE LAST DAY, RISE THE REANIMATED BODY OF SUSAN ADAMS, MORE FAIR, MORE LOVELY, AND MOKE EXCELLENT, (SINCE WITH OUR GOD ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE) THAN WHEN, AT 18 YEARS OF AGE, SHE LEFT A CIRCLE OF ADMIRING FRIENDS, TO SEEK THE UNFADING WREATH OF BLISS ETERNAL, BESTOWED ON MEEKNESS, PIETY, AND VIRTUE, WHILST, BY THE SETTING UP OF THIS SUBLUNARY TOKEN OF REMEMBRANCE, A MOMENTARY CONSOLATION HAS BEEN LENT TO HER AFFLICTED MOTHER. JUNE, 1804.
Poor Miss Susan Adams ! —for without that chaste prefix I cannot dare to address a shade with such an epitaph,— how rudely would your dreams be disturbed, not to mention your mother’s maternal pride and Mrs. Piozzi’s literary sensibilities (for she wrote the epitaph), could you have heard a cheery voice say, after I had twice read the inscription on the “ sublunary token,” “ Dear me ! Pagan, I call it ! ”