1792 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Dr. Erasmus Darwin

Francis Noel Clarke Mundy, "Address to the River Derwent, on whose Banks the Author of the Botanic Garden resides" 1792; Darwin, The Botanic Garden (1799) xii-xiii.



DERWENT, like thee the Poet's splendid song,
With sweet vicissitudes of ease and force
Now with enchanting smoothness glides along,
Now pours impetuous its resounding course;

While Science marches down thy wond'rous dells,
And all the Muses round her banners crowd,
Pleas'd to assemble in thy sparry cells,
And chant her lessons to thy echoes proud;

While here, Philosophy and Truth display
The shining-robes those heaven-born sisters wove,
While Fays and Graces beck'ning smooth their way,
And hand in hand with Flora follows Love.

Well may such radiant state increase thy pride,
Delighted stream! tho' rich in native charms,
Tho' inborn worth and honour still reside,
Where thy chill banks the glow of Chatsworth warms.

Tho' here her new-found art, as that of yore,
The spinster Goddess of thy rule assigns;
Tho', where her temples crowd thy people shore,
Wealth gilds thy urn, and Fame thy chaplet twines.

Ah, while thy nymphs in Derby's towered vale
Lead their sad Quires around MILCENA'S bier,
What soothing sweetness breathes along the gale,
Comes o'er the consort's heart, and balms a brother's tear!

Her new-found art, &c. Alluding to the numerous cotton mills on and near the river Derwent.
Milcena's bier. Mrs. French, sister to Mr. Mundy. Part I. Canto III. l. 308.