1792 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Dr. Erasmus Darwin

William Hayley, "To Dr. Darwin" 1792; Darwin, The Botanic Garden (1799) x-xi.



As Nature lovely Science led
Thro' all her flow'ry maze,
The volume she before her spread
Of DARWIN'S radiant lays.

Coy Science starts — so started Eve
At beauties yet unknown:
"The figure that you there perceive
(Said Nature) is your own."

"My own? It is: — but half so fair
I never seem'd till now:
And here, too, with a soften'd air,
Sweet Nature! here art Thou."

"Yes — in this mirrour of the Bard
We both embellish'd shine;
And grateful will unite to guard
An artist so divine."—

Thus Nature and thus Science spake
In Flora's friendly bower;
While DARWIN'S glory seem'd to wake
New life in every flower.

This with delight two Poets heard;
Time verifies it daily;
Trust it, dear DARWIN, on the word
Of COWPER and of HAYLEY!
Eartham, near Chichester,
June 27, 1792.