1777 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. William Dodd

John Huddlestone Wynne, "Verses on Doctor Dodd" Gazetteer and New Daily Advertiser (6 June 1777).



Why droops yon mourner, wherefore heaves the sigh?
Why pale and wan do yonder train appear?
Why does the cherub Pity veil here eye?
And meek, soft Charity, distill the tear?

Behold, within yon dreary walls, confin'd,
Unhappy Dodd remains, a prey to woe:
By one false step to misery consign'd:
Hence heave these sighs, and hence these sorrows flow.

Ah! frail estate of mortals, doom'd to trace
The road of life, whilst ev'ry ill attends;
While Pleasure courts them to her false embrace,
Which keen Remorse, with scorpion sting, attends.

How is he fall'n, on whom th' insatiate ear
Enraptur'd hung, whose gentle precepts flow'd
So sweet, that angels might have joy'd to hear,
List'ning attentive from their blest abode!

Yes, he is fall'n, whose voice and generous hand
Gave comfort, and their prisons' depths explor'd,
To set them free — and join'd the social band,
Who nature's first best gift to numbers have restor'd.

And shall he want that freedom which he gave?
Shall he, oppress'd by heart-corroding care,
Find no sad refuge but the dreary grave,
And fall a victim to the last despair?

Forbid it, Mercy: — And ye rigid few,
Who vaunt in all the pomp of virtue's pride,
How are ye sure, alas! but e'vn to you
The grace you would refuse shall be deny'd?

When in the hour of terror you shall stand,
All sad and suppliant at th' Eternal's throne,
When Faith and Hope retire on either hand,
And heav'n-born CHARITY remains alone!

And thou! O SIRE, whose throne, on justice plac'd,
Yet oft hast deign'd to bend to Mercy's pow'r,
O may thy sway, by that bright cherub grac'd,
Ensure the blessings of the tranquil hour!

Mayst thou like HIM who fills the throne sublime.
Still bid the contrite sinner not despair;
Forgive the man who now detests the crime,
And grant his pardon to a people's pray'r.
J. H. W—NE.