1804 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Thomas Chatterton

Nathan Drake, "To the Memory of Chatterton" Literary Hours (1804) 2:14-15.



Now strike ye slow the trembling lyre;
Now pour ye wild the plaintive strain,
Mute is the Poet's muse of fire,
And dead the Youth on yonder plain.

Oh, strew ye flow'rets o'er his grave
Yet wet with many a briny tear;
And thou, blest streamlet, gently lave
The Bard, to musing Fancy dear!

While yet shall glow the solar beam,
And line the rolling gloom with gold,
The blue-ey'd Fays, from wood or stream,
Shall deck with leaves thy hallow'd mould.

For thee, the hoary moss at eve,—
For thee, the balmy dew they bring;
For thee, the songs of pity weave,
And sweep with little hands the string.

The trembling string, I hear it swell;
It vibrates on my ravish'd ear:
Of other deeds it seems to tell,
Of worlds beyond this mortal sphere.

And hither from yon mossy cot,
Shall oft the love-lorn rustic stray;
The hinds and wood-nymphs mourn thy lot,
The dark-stol'd pilgrim chant thy lay.

Peace to thy shade, thou gentle Bard!
At rest the grass-grown turf regard,
For thee, with many a fond regard,
I give the mourning lyre to breathe.

Yes, duly through yon rustling trees,
Shall sweetly flow thy pensive tale,
Now sinking on the dying breeze,
Now pouring on the deep-ton'd gale:

Yea, all the winds that whisper near,
Shall many a melting murmur roll,
Of pow'r to soothe thy conscious ear,
And give to joy thy willing soul.