1823 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

John Clare

Anonymous, "Sonnet, addressed to the Rev. William Allen, on reading his elegant Letters upon the Poems of John Clare" Morning Post (18 December 1823).



When learning kindly deigns to adopt the cause
Of modest worth — nor vainly courts applause,
Beyond the plaudits of its own good heart;—
Let gratitude its thankfulness impart!
'Tis thine, in language of the gentlest kind,
Where wisdom, taste, and feeling are combined
To prove at once thy nobleness of mind!
How few like thee, would patiently engage
From day to day, to trace the simple page
Of untaught genius! cull each little sweet,
And add a charm to all thine eyes did meet;
Thy liberal feelings and persuasive pen
Have held their beauties forth to others' ken.
Thanks, generous ALLEN; kindest, best of men!