1771 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Edmund Cartwright

Anonymous, "To the Author of Armine and Elvira" St. James's Chronicle (22 August 1771).



True to the Cares that led thy early Youth
Through Paths where Science points to Taste and Truth;
True to the Hopes that learned Labour knows,
Watching the Bloom of Genius at it blows;
True to the generous Pleasures that attend,
When smiling Fruits the cultured Branches bend;
O, with that Muse who Gifts like these can give,
Live in long Commerce, long Affection live!

For me, who, once with happier Fortunes blest,
Found, in the Feast of Life, a keener Zest;
Who gain'd, unloaded with the Weight of Years,
The Port, where every human Vessel steers,
Since Death, with Nature's noblest Works at strife,
Quench the fair Star that smil'd upon my Life,
For me what Charms, what Lenitives remain,
Save the soft Measures of some soothing Strain?

And such were thine; when in that lowly Shade
Where, now long lost, my tender Hopes are laid,
Thy tuneful Woe stole sweetly on my Ear,
And thy Eye swell'd the universal Tear.

For this fair Service may thy gentle Heart,
Where once I held, and long would hold a Part,
Should it, beneath Almighty Love's Controul,
Sigh for the Mutuality of Soul,
Meet each mild Virtue in its future Fair,
Like Armine live, and find Elvira there!]