1830 ca. ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Samuel Rogers

John Mitford, "To Samuel Rogers, Esq." 1830 ca.; Mitford, Miscellaneous Poems (1858) 141-42.



A votive tablet has been oft engraved,
Interpreter of wishes that had else
Silently vanish'd ere they were express'd;
And oft surviving Piety has shaped
Ideal images of love, that lack'd
But longer time to have united those
Who in no brief communion would have lived
Of kindred genius, mind attach'd to mind,
Honouring each other — so would GRAY to thee
Have felt, who ever in thy life hast been
Faithful to every Muse. — Nor wilt thou scorn
From mine, a humbler hand, this pensive wreath
Of flowers unnoticed, blooming by his grave.
For I have shared thy friendly board, have heard
Grateful thy converse; where the hawthorn flings
Its blossoms round thy casement, and the spring,
Studious to deck thy loved suburban shade,
Comes with his earliest garlands pleased to thee.
Nor have I not with eye entranced beheld
Such forms as startled from the living wall
When Titian breath'd upon it — landscapes bathed
In soft Italian splendour. Nor less thine
What of auxiliar art in elder time
Rose from the Phidian chisel, bust, or urn,
Transcendent forms, and such as Petrarch saw
When first he trod upon Colonna's Hall.
Take then, not unpropitious to the page
Traced by his hand, who on the Theban lyre
Pour'd flame divine, nor less the fount unlock'd
Sacred to sorrow: — take these scatter'd lines
Relenting Time has spared; beneath thy smile
Approving they shall live, and thou shalt be,
For I have chosen one, whom long I've known,
The friend and guardian of the Poet's fame.