1803 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Samuel Jackson Pratt

Richard Polwhele, "To Mr. Pratt" Pratt, Cottage Pictures (1803) 1-2.



Say, shall thine Erato, at this pale hour,
When wide the obstreperous trumpet speeds dismay;
Say, shall thine Erato the music pour,
That melts the soul to love, at closing day?
Shall soft Benevolence yet lingering s stray
Where Cottage-Innocence and calm Content
Deck with fair wreathes the virgin's boastful brow?
Ah! will the dissonance of arms allow
One little pause for rural merriment,
One little pause for PRATT'S melodious muse?
Dull is the hostile ear to warbling shades!
Thy every PICTURE that could erst diffuse
A fairy-light o'er lawns and quiet glades,
Of War's terrific waste a livelier sense renews.

* This is the last of three beautiful Sonnets, by the Rev. Polwhele, the one in 1785, on reading "Landscapes in Verse;" the other in 1803; and the Sonnet, here given for the first time, at the close of the latter-mentioned year, on reading "Cottage-Pictures."