1796 ca. ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Thomas Chatterton

James Jennings, in "Retrospective Wanderings" 1796 ca.; Jennings, Poems (1810) 214-15.



Pensive oft,
Whilst I in Bristol wore my wandering way,
High Redcliff's Fane the bursting sigh would bring
For GENIUS pining and for GENIUS proud:
For HIM, who early tore himself away
From the cold world, which car'd not, and nor felt
Nor favour'd, ere too late, his wondrous Song:
Now heard with rapture — he with pity mourn'd—
Mourn'd for his Genius — for his crime deplor'd.
Alas! he hears not, or indignant hears
The loud lament and unavailing sigh.
Freed from the fetters of this clay cold earth,
Haply he warbles wild the loftiest notes
Of mystic Minstrelsy, while to him list
The empyreal Spirits wondering. May his fate
Awake the slumbering world to others' woe,
And rescue towering Genius from the tomb,
Untimely, premature!