Epitaph to Sir Godfrey Kneller
Epitaphs from The Life Of Pope by Samuel Johnson

On Sir Godfrey Kneller, in Westminster Abbey, 1723.

Kneller, by Heaven, and not a master, taught,
Whose art was Nature, and whose pictures thought;
Now for two ages, having snatched from fate
Whate'er was beauteous, or whate'er was great,
Lies crowned with Princes, honours, Poets, lays,
Due to his merit, and brave thirst of praise.
Living, great Nature feared he might outvie
Her works; and dying, fears herself may die.

Of this epitaph the first couplet is good, the second not bad, the third is deformed with a broken metaphor, the word crowned not being applicable to the honours or the lays , and the fourth is not only borrowed from the epitaph on Raphael, but of a very harsh construction.

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