472. An Epitaph

James Beattie. 1735-1803

LIKE thee I once have stemm'd the sea of life,
  Like thee have languish'd after empty joys,
Like thee have labour'd in the stormy strife,
  Been grieved for trifles, and amused with toys.

Forget my frailties; thou art also frail:
  Forgive my lapses; for thyself may'st fall:
Nor read unmoved my artless tender tale--
  I was a friend, O man, to thee, to all.

The Oxford Book of English Verse, HTML edition