Isaac Watts puts this distinction clearly in his Dedication of 'A Funeral Poem, On the Death of Thomas Gunston, Esq.':
'Had I designed a complete elegy, madam, on your dearest brother, and intended it for public view, I should have followed the usual forms of poetry, so far at least as to spend some pages in the character and praises of the deceased, and thence have taken occasion to call mankind to complain aloud of the universal and unspeakable loss: but I wrote merely for myself, as a friend of the dead, and to ease my full soul by breathing out my complaints.. .'(Chalmers, xiii. 77).