1803 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Henry James Pye

Fingal, "Half an Ode, on the Ode for the New Year" Morning Post (26 February 1803).



Sweet Mr. PYE, how can'st thou sing
That "the tempestuous winds no more
Sweep the calm main with angry wing"
Whilst dismal wrecks bestrew the shore?
At Margate, did "the tepid breeze
But gently fan the rippling seas,"
When the Hindostan (dire to tell!)
Late sank beneath the billowy swell—
When on the beach the frequent corse was cast,
While Feeling shrunk and Pity stood aghast?—
O had thou, ere the muse inspir'd
Thine Ode, at LLOYD'S for news inquir'd,
Thou would'st have learnt a stormy tale,
That might have made thy cheek turn pale!
Were fatally awake — the Zephyrs fast asleep!!
But haply, whilst disastrous chance
Thus hover'd o'er the angry main,
Thy gentle Muse ne'er cast a glance
Beyond her parlour's chrystal pane.
Snug as her wishes could desire,
Beside a warm, clear, cheerful fire,
With tepid airs around her playing,
But nothing dismal, or dismaying,
The placid Damsel might conceive, no doubt,
That all was quite serene, and calm, and clear without!