1715 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Matthew Prior

Anonymous, "An Ode to Mathew Prior Esq; when in Confinement" 1715; The Grove; or a Collection of Original Poems (1721) 266-68.



Could I, great Bard, O! could I share
Thy Genius, as thy Grief,
My healing Verse should sooth thy Care,
And timely give Relief.

But vain are my Essays to sing,
And impotent my Strains,
The Cordials from your self must spring,
That can allay your Pains.

On your firm Heart and honest Breast
Bend your reflecting Eyes;
For Socrates, by Faction prest,
To conscious Virtue flies.

Nor could Philosophy divine
Such solid Joys impart,
As each soft Strain, each Magick Line,
Of your diviner Art.

Then string again your slackned Lyre,
To peaceful Anna's Praise;
Whom would not Innocence inspire,
And Anna's Glory raise?

Tho' Faction all its Rage oppose,
The pleasing Theme pursue:
They only, who were Anna's Foes,
Are Enemies to You.