1764 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. John Langhorne

Mary Darwall, "To the Rev. John Langhorne, on reading his Visions of Fancy, &c" Darwall, Original Poems on Several Occasions, by Miss Whateley (1764) 114-17.



Fraught with each Wish the friendly Breast can form,
A simple Muse, O! Langhorne, wou'd intrude;
Her Lays are languid, but her Heart is warm,
Tho' not with Fancy's potent Powers endu'd.

Fancy, tho' erst she shed a glimmering Ray,
And op'd to fairy Scenes my Infant Eye,
From Pain, and Care, has wing'd her chearful Way,
And with Hygeia sought a milder Sky.

No more my trembling Hand attempts the Lyre,
Which Shenstone oft (sweet Bard) has deign'd to praise;
Even tuneful Langhorne's Friendship fails t' inspire
The Glow that warm'd my Breast in happier Days.

Yet not this cold Heart can remain unmov'd,
When thy sweet Numbers strike my raptur'd Ear;
The Silver Sounds, by ev'ry Muse approv'd,
Suspend awhile the melancholy Tear.

What Time, on Arrowe's osier'd Banks reclin'd,
I to the pale Moon pour'd thy plaintive Lay;
Smooth roll'd the Waves, more gently sigh'd the Wind,
And Echo stole the tender Notes away.

Sweet Elves and Fays, that o'er the shadowy Plains
Their mystic Rites, and mazy Dance pursue,
Tun'd their light Minstrelsy to softer Strains,
And from thy Lays their melting Music drew.

Sweet Son of Fancy! may the white-rob'd Hours
Shed their kind Influence on thy gentle Breast;
May Hebe strew thy Vernal Path with Flow'rs,
Blest in thy Love, and in thy Friendship blest.

Smooth as thy Numbers may thy Years advance,
Pale Care and Pain their speeding Darts suspend;
May Health, and Fancy, lead the chearful Dance,
And Hope for ever her fair Torch extend.

For thee may Fame her fairest Chaplets twine,
Each fragrant Bloom, that paints Aonia's Brow,
Each Flow'r, that blows by Alcidale, be thine;
With the chaste Laurel's never-fading Bough.

On thee may faithful Friendship's cordial Smile
Attendant wait to soothe each rising Care;
The Nymph thou lov'st be thine, devoid of Guile,
Mild, virtuous, kind, compassionate, and fair.

May thy sweet Lyre still charm the generous Mind,
Thy liberal Muse the Patriot Spirit raise;
While, in thy Page to latest Time consign'd,
Virtue receives the Meed of polish'd Praise.