1803 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Thomas Chatterton

J. M., "Sonnet, written in a Blank Page of the new Edition of Chatterton's Works" Morning Post (22 January 1803).



Low on the plain the Muse's son may lie,
No trav'ller stays awhile his thrifty pace;
No kind purveyor bids the feast to grace;
The purse-proud priest most jollily rides by.
Vain shall he list for voice of sympathy;
Vain fancy's cheat his hungry ear shall trace,
As gentler echoes the rude breezes chase,
And tremulous joy illume his sunken eye—
He only hears, while want and sickness wait,
Like two companions of unseemly force,
To toil and drag in frantic sorrow's course;
The tempter's voice "Spurn, spurn thy tardy fate!"
Nor dares to hope, fond Muse! thy weak acclaim,
His scatter'd transcript's shield, proud in the breast of Fame.