1803 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Samuel Jackson Pratt

Sibylla, "To the Author of Cottage Picture; or, the Poor" Pratt, Cottage Pictures (1803) 3.



Compassion, wandering on fair Albion's shore,
Threw her soft eye-beams o'er Britannia's POOR;
Where hopeless Industry still met her view,
And the chill'd hearth no gleam of comfort knew:
Then pour'd her wishes, that some Angel-Muse,
From her own fame, the generous theme would chuse.
"And is there none," she cried, "no Son of Fame,
Will grace in numbers, humble Misery's claim?
For suffering Rustics, breathe the pensive song,
And mark, in Poesy, the Peasant's Wrong?"

"Thy prayer is heard," (exulting Genius cried,
His bright wand waving as the goddess sigh'd,)
"Oh! there is one on whom my quenchless rays
Lend their pure fire, to animate his lays;
The Bard of 'Sympathy,' with soul benign,
Shall touch with magic force the lyre divine,
To Village-Sorrows lead Attention's eye,
And waft to Pleasure's dome the Poor Man's Sigh.
Mercy shall seek the haunts his strains deplore,
And Pity hail him — 'Poet of the Poor.'"