1781 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Nathaniel Lee

William Preston, "Epistle to a young Gentleman" 1781; Poems (1793) 1:179-80.



From Lee's abode the dreary curtains draw,
And show the darkling cell, the couch of straw,
The whip, the bonds, the haughty keeper's frown,—
Oh what a noble mind is there o'erthrown!
Behold those eyes in wildest frenzy roll,
That speak the movements of a tuneful soul.
Ev'n now, the mind like some fair Eden lies,
Now, sudden blackness stains the leaden skies,
The whirlwind burst — commix'd, confus'd, and torn,
The fairest flow'rs, and goodliest plants are born.