ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION
Dr. Erasmus Darwin
Anonymous, "Elegy on the Death of Dr. Darwin" City Gazette and Daily Advertiser [Charleston] (8 October 1803).
Dr. Erasmus Darwin:
1783: Anna Seward
1786: Anna Seward
1788: Rev. William Bagshaw Stevens
1789: Elizabeth Carter
1791: M. C. S.
1792: Rev. Richard Polwhele
1792: William Hayley
1792: Francis Noel Clarke Mundy
1792: Anna Seward
1793: Isaac D'Israeli
1793: William Cowper
1796: Samuel Taylor Coleridge
1796 ca.: Dewhurst Bilsborrow
1798: Richard Lovell Edgeworth
1798: Edward Gardner
1800: Thomas James Mathias
1800: Dr. Nathan Drake
1801: Alexander Thomson
1802: Mr. Rainford
1802: Richard Lovell Edgeworth
1805: Charles Brockden Brown
1805: Anna Seward
1808: Sir Samuel Egerton Brydges
1809: Lord Byron
1812: Charles Caleb Colton
1814: Leigh Hunt
1814: George Dyer
1818: William Hazlitt
1821: A Belle of the Old School
1824: George Dyer
1824: Bryan Waller Procter
1827: Robert Southey
1833: James Montgomery
1851: Dr. David Macbeth Moir
1856: Samuel Rogers
1858: Cyrus Redding
1882: Margaret Oliphant
1882: Epes Sargent
Heard you that knell, which, tremulously slow,
Bespoke the parting of a fated shade?
Know you for whom this messenger of woe
Sent its deep notes throughout the darkened glade?
Not one, whose life insipidly became
Of ease and idleness the torpid prey;
Who smil'd at glory and immortal fame,
And vegetating pass'd the listless day.
DARWIN'S no more! the tributary due
To death once paid, his soul has sped the flight;
Spurn'd the dense ether, realized the view
Of heavenly regions and eternal light.
Gladly his dawning genius science hail'd,
And bade philosophy his mind engage;
Reluctant nature saw her shrine unveil'd,
And fear'd his knowledge, tho' she lov'd the sage.
To turn the pail tyrant's fatal dart,
To soothe the pang of agonizing pain,
To heal the sorrows of a bleeding heart,
And lead Hygeia to her seat again—
Such was his task; insidious to wound,
His shafts in vain the grisly monarch aim'd,
'Till one sad melancholy moment found,
His rival long, but now his victim claim'd.
To melt the list'nig soul to him 'twas given,
The muses favorite, the friend of man;
Eager he grasp'd the partial boon of heaven,
And wak'd to melody his course began.
The gnomes and sylphs, who, with a poet's fire,
He chose the theme of his mellifluous lays,
When with a master's hand he swept the lyre,
And gain'd Britannia's everlasting praise—
On airy pinions soon shall hasten here,
His lov'd remains from injury to save,
To kind remembrance drop a pitying tear,
And deck with flowery wreaths their poet's grave.